×

‘Hunger Games’ cleared for China

Unedited version of Lionsgate blockbuster will go out wide

With the Chinese box office booming, Lionsgate will be seeking still more “Hunger Games” coin in that market with an early June launch for its blockbuster.

Lionsgate announced Saturday night that the Chinese government had approved the “Hunger Games” release of both dubbed and subtitled prints by the China Film Group in conjunction with Lionsgate’s promotional partner, Talent Intl. The studio said “The Hunger Games” will be one of the first Hollywood studio films to be released in China under February’s revenue-sharing agreement allowing Western distributors to collect up to 25% of receipts.

Lionsgate had told Wall Street analysts in November that “The Hunger Games” was expected to be released in China, but government approval was not finalized until very recently.

Lionsgate had told Wall Street analysts in November that “Hunger Games” had received initial government approval to play in China, but the studio had not finalized that arrangement until very recently.

International box office gross for “The Hunger Games” is already $237 million along with $380 million domestic.

Wendy Reeds, exec VP for Celestial Tiger Entertainment, Lionsgate’s venture with Saban Capital Group and Astro’s Celestial Pictures in Asia, noted that Chinese box office grew by more than 30% last year to more than $2 billion. She added that approval for a nationwide release in China of “Hunger Games ” represents a “major step in translating the enormous commercial potential of this huge market into reality.”

Recent numbers out of China have been sensational, such as the $67 million six-day opening for the 3D reissue of “Titanic,” which has hit $138 million in its fourth week. Universal’s “Battleship” has grossed $42.5 million in two weeks, and “The Avengers” opened this weekend with $17.4 million in just two days.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman said, “China is already one of the leading territories at the international box office, and the launch of ‘The Hunger Games’ in this key market is another sign of the franchise’s continuing emergence as a truly global phenomenon.”

Lionsgate has taken several recent steps to tap the Chinese market. In February it announced that Celestial Tiger Entertainment had inked content deals with local VOD platforms for film and TV content including “Mad Men,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Monster’s Ball” with the aim of penetrating China’s fast-growing VOD market.

The Celestial Tiger partnership was created earlier this year by Lionsgate, Saban and Celestial Pictures to launch branded pay TV channels and to distribute content in Asia.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content