HK FilMart: Huang Xiaoming, Mini Yang Poised for Big B.O. in May With ‘Sunshine’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Popular stars Huang Xiaoming and Mini Yang (aka, Yang Mi) are poised to set the Chinese box office alight in May with upcoming young adult romance “You Are My Sunshine.”

Rights to the film are being offered for the first time at FilMart by Le Vision, the film arm of the LeTV online video group whose “big data” resources helped steer the “Tiny Times” franchise releases.

The film has many of the ingredients of the biggest recent hits in China, and already boasts a massive online following.

Le Vision, which handled the release of the “Tiny Times” movies and is also producer and investor, is confidently forecasting that “Sunshine” will gross over RMB700 million ($115 million) following a wide release on May 1, a national holiday in China.

The company will be positioning “Sunshine” as a contemporary Chinese take on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The film’s story follows two university students who fall in love on campus, but are forced to part ways because of a series of obstacles, family objections and misunderstandings.

“Sunshine” is the first feature by Yang Wenjun, one of China’s top TV series directors (“Divorce Lawyer”) and Huang bin.

Like “Tiny Times,” “So Young,” “Fleet of Time” and other recent hits, “Sunshine” is a feature adaptation of a hit Internet novel. Penned by female writer Gu Man, who now has a huge online following on Sina Weibo, and published in instalments over two years starting in 2003, the online book of the same title collected 29 million fan points (‘likes’) on the JinJiang Literature Network.

In print form, it has been a consistent seller over 10 years, and has been reprinted 52 times.

“Sunshine” proved its mettle earlier this year when released as an online drama series starring Tiffany Tang and Wallace Chung. Le Vision reports that its ratings exceeded recent hits “My Love From the Star” and “Sword of Legends.”

The romance genre is currently proving exceptionally attractive to Chinese theatrical audiences, with recent smashes including “Finding Mr Right,” “So Young” (also directed by another first timer, Vicky Zhao Wei), and “Fleet of Time.”

Huang and Yang are among the top stars of a new generation of local screen actor emerging from China. Huang has credits that include “The Crossing,” “American Dreams in China,” and “The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom.” Yang, returning to the screen after having a child, was star of “Tiny Times,” “The Breakup Guru,” and “Painte Skin: The Resurrection.”

The cast also includes Tong Dawei (“American Dreams in China,” “Dearest” “The Flowers of War”) and Joan Chen (“The Last Emperor” “Twin Peaks”). Glossy overseas locations included San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge area.

“We are not positioning it as a franchise film, but we believe that its more uplifting ending will help it win over other films in the same genre,” a Le Vision spokesman told Variety. “It is a uniquely Chinese version that will satisfy audiences’ desires for a story about pure romantic love that survives across time.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • "Tezuka's Barbara" in competition at Tokyo

    ‘Tezuka’s Barbara’ and ‘A Beloved Wife’ Head for Tokyo Festival Competition

    Two Japanese films, “Tezuka’s Barbara” and “A Beloved Wife” have been selected for the main competition section of next month’s Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival will reveal the remainder of the competition and the bulk of its other selections later this month. To date the Japanese festival has only revealed its opening film (“Tora-san, [...]

  • Garin Nugroho film "Memories of my

    Indonesia Selects Controversial 'Memories' as Oscar Contender

    “Memories of my Body” directed by Garin Nugroho has been selected to represent Indonesia at the Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film category. The announcement was made on Tuesday by actress Christine Hakim representing the Indonesian Film Selection Committee. The fact-based film depicts the story of a young man from a dance troupe that [...]

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • The Moneychanger

    Toronto Film Review: ‘The Moneychanger’

    Uruguayan auteur Federico Veiroj (“The Apostate,” “Belmonte”) broadens his usual intimate dramatic scope to diminishing returns for his fifth feature, “The Moneychanger,” . Adapted from a novella by compatriot Juan Enrique Gruber, the period (mid-1950s to mid-1970s) tale centers on the eponymous character, an amoral currency exchanger, who winds up laundering some of the dirtiest [...]

  • Send Me to the Clouds

    Film Review: ‘Send Me to the Clouds’

    The social and economic pressures felt by China’s “leftover women” — referring to those older than 26 and unmarried — are examined in “Send Me to the Clouds,” a rewarding dramedy about a 30-ish journalist seeking financial reward and sexual fulfillment after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Bold by mainland standards for presenting a positive [...]

  • Jamie Bell Without Remorse

    Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.” Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content