×

Gaumont’s French Christmas Comedy ‘Santa & Cie’ Set for Big Rollout in China

After smashing the French B.O. with an estimated €3.5 million in five days, Alain Chabat’s fantasy-filled Christmas comedy “Santa & Cie” will be getting a wide release in China on Dec. 15.

Hishow Entertainment is partnering up with China Film Group to give “Santa & Cie” a massive roll-out across 8,000 screens.

Co-produced and repped worldwide by Gaumont, “Santa & Cie” will mark the second French-language film to be released in China this year, following Dany Boon’s “Raid Dingue,” and the second French-language pic to be distributed nearly simultaneously with the release in France. Another Gaumont movie, the animated feature “Ballerina,” was released in China by Hishow and sold more than 1.3 million tickets.

Hishow Entertainment is aiming to bank on the growing popularity of Christmas, which Gaumont says has become the second-most celebrated holiday in China after the Chinese New Year. It turns out that two-thirds of the Christmas decorations consumed worldwide are made in Yiwu, a Chinese city now nicknamed the “Christmas Village.”

Chabat (“Houba! On the Trail of the Marsupilami,” “Asterix et Obelix: Mission Cleopatra”), who also stars in “Santa & Cie” opposite Audrey Tautou, Golshifteh Farahani and Pio Marmai, traveled to Beijing over the weekend to present previews of the film and was warmly welcomed (pictured).

The movie follows the journey of the grumpy yet tenderhearted Santa Claus (played by Chabat) who is forced to travel to Earth to find a cure for his sick elves a few days before Christmas and comes across a young Parisian family who help him complete his mission.

One of the most ambitious French films produced in the last couple years, “Santa & Cie” was made by the outfit Legende with a $28 million budget; and it benefited from a key crew that included Bryan Jones, whose credits include “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

“Santa & Cie” has already been a big success in France where it was released by Gaumont last Wednesday and ranked second to Pixar’s animated blockbuster “Coco.” It will next be released by Belga in Belgium, Ascot Elite in Switzerland, Mile End in Canada, Kino Swiat in Poland and Megogo in Russia.

Hishow Entertainment’s previous international film releases include “The Imitation Game,” “Triple 9” and “Ballerina.”

More Film

  • For Lineup Story

    Billie Piper's Directorial Debut, 'Rare Beasts,' to Bow in Venice Critics' Week

    “Rare Beasts,” the directorial debut of British stage and screen actress Billie Piper (“Doctor Who,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Collateral”) is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, which has unveiled its lineup of nine first works, four of them from female filmmakers. Produced by Vaughan Sivell of Western Edge Pictures in association with [...]

  • 'Mientras dure la guerra' -Rodaje Modmedia-

    Alejandro Amenabar, Ricardo Darin, Paco Cabezas Bound for San Sebastian

    MADRID  –  Alejandro Amenábar, Ricardo Darín and Paco Cabezas, director of episodes from “Peaky Blinders” and “American Gods,” look set to join Penelope Cruz, already confirmed as a Donostia Award winner, at this year’s 67th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival. The biggest movie event in the Spanish-speaking world, this year’s San Sebastian runs Sept.20-28. Amenábar’s [...]

  • Pinewood Studios James Bond

    Netflix's Shepperton Studios Deal Is Stretching the U.K.'s Production Limits

    Netflix’s huge new hub at Shepperton Studios outside London is a further fillip for Britain’s booming production sector. Amid jitters over Brexit and its effects on the economy, the streaming giant’s commitment is a vote of confidence in the U.K. entertainment industry and a continuing source of local jobs. But the decision by Netflix to [...]

  • Bottom of the 9th

    Film Review: ‘Bottom of the 9th’

    Nearly two decades after scoring an audience award at Sundance for “Two Family House,” a smartly understated yet deeply affecting indie about a Staten Island factory worker who deeply regrets stifling his showbiz ambitions, director Raymond De Felitta steps back up to the plate with “Bottom of the 9th,” another dramatically solid and emotionally satisfying [...]

  • Endemol Shine Builds ‘The Bridge’ in

    Endemol Shine Builds ‘The Bridge’ in Africa (EXCLUSIVE)

    DURBAN–Endemol Shine Group has sold the rights to adapt its critically acclaimed and highly popular Nordic Noir detective series “The Bridge” to Cape Town-based production company Both Worlds Pictures, Variety has learned exclusively. The series will feature an all-African cast and will be set around the Beit Bridge border crossing between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Originally known [...]

  • Durban Film Fest 2019

    Durban Fest Hails Film as ‘Conscience of Our Nation’

    DURBAN–When Ros and Teddy Sarkin raised the curtain on the first Durban Intl. Film Festival 40 years ago, the odds were long that their scrappy fest would survive its inaugural edition. The apartheid government and its draconian censorship board had a stranglehold on the films that reached South African theaters, banning the sorts of subversive [...]

  • Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell

    Film Review: 'Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell'

    “Streetwise,”  the classic and haunting 1984 documentary about homeless street kids in Seattle, is a movie that’s now 35 years old. But for anyone who has seen it, the children it’s about — drifters, hustlers, squatters, thieves, prostitutes — remain frozen in time. And none of them was ever more memorable than Tiny, the 14-year-old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content