You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alibaba Pictures Group To Distribute ‘Little Door Gods’ Animation

Alibaba Pictures Group has boarded “Little Door Gods,” an animated feature that is the first film from Beijing-based studio Light Chaser Animation.

APG, the film-making and investment arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is set as investor and principal distributor of the film. Release is set for January 1, 2016.

Light Chaser was founded by Gary Wang, founder and former CEO of Chinese video streaming site Tudou.com. It raised $20 million in a 2014 funding round that brought in investors including GGV Capital and Chengwei Capital.

The company decided to work with APG because of its ability to deliver online and offline distribution, as well as handle ticket and merchandize sales.

“Alibaba Pictures has successfully positioned itself in various areas of the movie industry over the past year, demonstrating the internet giant’s ambitions to upgrade and transform the Chinese culture and entertainment industry,” said producer Yu Zhou.

“’Little Door Gods’ is a modern-day story of two Door Gods facing unemployment in the spirit world, as ever fewer people in the human world believe in the spirits any more. One of the spirits ventures into the human world to make trouble in order to prove his value, leading to unexpected encounters and transformations,” said Light Chaser in a pitch earlier this year.

The film began production in January 2013 with post-production starting in July this year. The budget was not disclosed, though estimates have pegged it between $11 million and $25 million. Yu says it will be produced with a Dolby Atmos sound track and that it required 80 million rendering hours.

The picture is the first animation for APG to be involved with. The first feature greenlighted by APG under Alibaba ownership, is the now in-production “Ferryman,” which is produced by Wong Kar-wai and stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai. This week the company also confirmed that it is backing “Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach,” for Zhang Yibai to direct and Liu Yifei to star in.

“’Little Door Gods’ is a top-quality film, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Light Chaser on this project and leverage our strengths in promotion and distribution,” an unnamed Alibaba Pictures spokesman said. “This project is very much in line with our strategic goal of servicing the cultural industry and upgrading its overall competitiveness.”

Chinese animation is growing in quality and commercial success. “Monkey King: Hero Is Back,” which is currently on release after 52 days, has grossed $153 million. It has overtaken all previous Hollywood, foreign or local animated pictures at the Chinese box office. Similarly, “Monster Hunt,” which mixes live action and animation, has grossed a staggering $384 million.

More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content