Lionsgate has acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to “Monster Hunt 2,” the upcoming sequel to Chinese smash hit “Monster Hunt.”
The deal also gives Lionsgate partial rights to lcoation-based entertainment facilities based on “Monster Hunt.” Lionsgate is already one of several partners building an entertainment venue in Zhuhai, China, just across the border from Macau and one hour’s travel across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong.
The “Monster Hunt” films are produced by Bill Kong’s Edko Films. The films are live action-animation hybrids directed by Raman Hui, the Hong Kong-born director who spent 20 years in North America and is often described as the co-creator of “Shrek.” Many of the effects were provided by Beijing-based BaseFX.
The original 2015 film became the highest-grossing film of all time in China with a cumulative gross of more than $380 million. That total has since been overtaken by “The Fate of the Furious” and “The Mermaid,” leaving “Monster Hunt” as third-largest. “Monster Hunt” was released in the U.S. by FilmRise, earning just $33,000.
The sequel stars returning thespians Bai Baihe and Jing Boran, as well as Tony Leung Chiu-wai (“The Grandmaster,” “Infernal Affairs”). The film is being shopped to international buyers at the Cannes Film Festival.
Lionsgate expects to release “Monster Hunt 2” simultaneously with the film’s scheduled China outing in February 2018.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Patrick Wachsberger, Wendy Reeds and the rest of the Lionsgate team,” said Kong in a prepared statement. “I know that our franchise is in great hands.”
“We’re proud to continue our commitment to the most exciting properties and top creative talent emerging from China by partnering with Edko Films,” said Reeds, Lionsgate’s EVP of international sales and China/Asia productions and strategy.