‘Trolls’ Scores China Release Ahead of North American Debut

Trolls” will hit China a week before it lands in the U.S.

The big screen adventure from DreamWorks Animation is based on the popular line of toys — products that popularized a group of brightly colored, up-do sporting creatures. The film will hit the Middle Kingdom on Oct. 28 before bowing in the U.S. on Nov. 4. DreamWorks will distribute the film in China through its joint venture, Oriental DreamWorks. That’s the same entity it used to release previous films such as “Kung Fu Panda 3.”

The launch is a boon to “Trolls'” box office prospects. China is the second-largest market for film, and “Kung Fu Panda 3” made $153.3 million in the country, nearly $10 million more than it grossed in the United States. China maintains a strict quota on the number of foreign films it allows to screen annually, so entry is not guaranteed. Its China release date puts it up against Sony’s “Inferno,” a thriller with Tom Hanks. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” has scored a Nov. 11 release slot in China.

Last spring, Comcast announced it had a $3.8 billion deal in place to buy DreamWorks. That deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

“Trolls” stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, and features songs by Timberlake, Kendrick, Ariana Grande, and Gwen Stefani. Mike Mitchell (“Shrek Forever After”) directs with Walt Dohrn co-helming in his feature film debut.

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