Toronto: China Lion Hitches With ‘Breakup Buddies’ in N. America

Day-and-date release set for Ning Hao comedy

Breakup Buddies
Breakup Buddies

TORONTO – China Lion Film Distribution has picked up multi-territory rights to “Breakup Buddies,” a Chinese comedy by director Ning Hao.

The company acquired rights in North America, Australia and New Zealand from IM Global, which handles world sales outside Greater China.

The picture has its world premiere in Toronto this week and will be released by China Lion on Oct. 2 in Australia and New Zealand and on Oct. 3 in the U.S. and Canada.

“Breakup Buddies” stars Xu Zheng and Huang Bo in their first comedy together since “Lost In Thailand,” a mainland China hit that was released in December 2012 and garnered $197 million at the box office. The story is a road trip across China that started after a divorced and heartbroken man enjoyed a night of heavy drinking with his best buddy.

Ning Hao, who made a splash on the festival scene with “Mongolian Ping Pong,” has become one of China’s most commercially successful directors with hits including “Crazy Racer” and the recent “No Man’s Land.” He will be interviewed on stage by a Variety editor on Tuesday next week at the Toronto festival’s Asian Film Summit.

Day-and-date releasing in China and the English-speaking markets is a strategy employed by China Lion in order to maximize the impact of Chinese marketing and to give Chinese audiences in America reason to watch movies theatrically, rather than via piracy.