SYDNEY — One “Ring” has ruled the rest of the world — now let’s see if it can conquer China.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” is set to bow in China April 2 after the country’s sole importer, the China Film Corp., approved the release of Peter Jackson’s fantasy/adventure.
New Line Intl. exec VP Nester Nieves was in Beijing last week to plan the release with China Film officials.
Confidence in pic
“I never thought it wouldn’t be approved because it’s about the battle between good and evil in an imaginary world,” Rolf Mittweg, New Line president of worldwide distribution and marketing, told Daily Variety on Thursday. “No one is offended by it.”
Mittweg said he does not know how much it will gross but noted that New Line will collect only the standard 15% of the B.O. receipts — the formula that applies to revenue-sharing films.
Released late January, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is the biggest U.S. hit on the mainland in recent years, clocking $7.1 million thus far, trailing “Pearl Harbor’s” $12.5 million.
Whatever “Rings” fetches in China will be gravy on top of its international gross of $494 million and rising.
“Jurassic Park III,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Shrek” and “The Princess Diaries” also have gone out in China this year.