The film will release Oct. 18. That is a week after its outing in North America, and about two weeks after its commercial debuts in France and Germany.
Nevertheless, the date is a prime spot, as it will be first full weekend after China’s National Day holiday week – an annual festive period that starts Oct. 1 and is this year stuffed with patriotic films celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. The weekend following the holiday is shortened, as Saturday, Oct. 12, is considered a working day.
The film stars Will Smith as a government assassin who is being hunted by his younger clone. Smith and two-time Oscar-winner Lee are expected to visit China as part of its promotional tour, but details have not yet been confirmed.
Paramount Pictures is the distributor in North America and most international territories. In China, the film is to be treated as a revenue-sharing import title.
“Gemini Man” has multiple Chinese connections. Fosun Pictures, which previously backed Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” through its ownership position in Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8, is a producer and investor, and will co-distribute the film in China. Alibaba Pictures is also named as a producer, alongside Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Skydance Media, the Hollywood production company in which China’s Tencent bought a $100 million stake last year.
Fosun confirmed that the film will be shown in multiple different formats in China, including Imax and the 60 FPS and 120 FPS high-frame rates that Lee has pioneered. Lee’s “Billy Lynn” was similarly shown in high-frame-rate version in China, where its total box office hit $23.8 million. In North America, “Billy Lynn” was a rare example of a Lee film that flopped with critics and audiences, earning just $1.74 million.