×

Shanghai: China Film Group Announces 28 Title Lineup

China Film Group announced a line-up of 28 films at a large event on the sidelines of the Shanghai International Film Festival that feted both the mainland’s main distributor and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

“Nearly a thousand film industry people wished the motherland a beautiful and happy birthday” at the gathering held Sunday at the Hilton Hotel in the city’s Hongqiao district, the company said on social media.

Chairman La Peikang gave an opening speech that highlighted the box office success of the Spring Festival hit “The Wandering Earth” and “My Best Summer,” a rom-com that’s made nearly $50 million in its two weeks so far in theaters. La praised them as ventures that have been “win-wins for China Film Group and its partners.”

“The prosperity of China’s film industry depends on the joint efforts of many filmmakers and companies. We must take a path of cooperative, win-win development,” he said.

The company’s long upcoming slate includes the $50 million upcoming Russian-China fantasy adventure involving Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan. “Viy 2: The Mystery of Dragon Seal: Journey to China,” a sequel to the 2014 Russian film “Viy,” which was not released in China, is directed by Oleg Stepchenko and involves an entirely Russian creative team, though Chan is also listed as a producer. It is jointly backed by Russia Film Group and has fixed a Sept. 19 release date in its home territory, where it will be distributed by Universal.

Another eyebrow-raising title is “Chinese Autobots.” The “Transformers” franchise films have long been a mainstay of Chinese cinema fare, making up two of the top 30 performing titles of all time in country. In January, the spin-off “Bumblebee” made more than $160 million in China. The country came under fire in 2015 for an animated film called “The Autobots,” which stole the “Transformers” universe term as a title for a feature that blatantly pirated Disney/Pixar’s “Cars” series. The Chinese film made $840,000 (RMB5.8 million), while 2011’s “Cars 2” made $10.9 million (RMB75 million) and “Cars 3” made $19.9 million (RMB137 million).

China Film’s lineup features four animated titles. One, about the maritime silk road, boasts two main characters that bear a close resemblance to those from Disney’s “Moana.” The poster for CFG’s 3D animated feature “Pets United” features characters remarkably similar to the pug Mel from Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets” and a robot cross between Baymax of “Big Hero 6” and Eva from “Wall-E.” “Secret Life of Pets 2” is set to hit mainland theaters on July 5. The first film grossed $56.2 million in China. 

     

The Shanghai gala highlighted China Film’s status as a firm with a “sense of responsibility and mission to closely revolve around the (Communist) Party and the country’s promotion of overall cultural work,” the company said.

More Film

  • Javier Bardem Dune

    Javier Bardem in Talks to Play King Triton in Disney's 'Little Mermaid'

    Javier Bardem is in talks to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula. Harry Styles is also in early talks to play Prince Eric. “The Little Mermaid” [...]

  • UglyDolls

    STX Tries to Put Flops Behind It As It Searches For Star Executive, Fresh Capital

    After a series of film flops and an aborted initial public offering, STX Entertainment is battling mounting skepticism that it can survive in an increasingly unforgiving movie business. As it hustles to find $500 million in fresh capital, the company, which operates in the red according to financial disclosures, is simultaneously hoping to attract a [...]

  • Ryan Simpkins

    Ryan Simpkins Joins Fox-Disney's 'Fear Street' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Simpkins has joined Fox-Disney’s second installment of 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Fear Street” trilogy, based on the novels by R.L. Stine. Leigh Janiak is helming all three films. Previously announced cast includes Gillian Jacobs, Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, McCabe Slye, Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman, Fred Hechinger, Julia [...]

  • MPAA Logo

    Motion Picture Association of America Hires Emily Lenzner as Communications Chief

    The Motion Picture Association of America has appointed veteran public relations executive Emily Lenzner as its executive VP of global communications and public affairs. She will report to Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin and oversee the trade group’s communications team in the U.S. and internationally. Lenzner will start Aug. 1 and be based at the MPAA’s [...]

  • 'Cats' Teaser Trailer: See Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift Unveils Feline Moves in 'Cats' Behind-the-Scenes Teaser

    Taylor Swift fans finally get to see some of the results of all those years spent studying her roommates Meredith and Olivia — and also, not incidentally, some time with a choreographer — in a new behind-the-scenes teaser for the movie “Cats.” The three-and-a-half-minute featurette has footage of Swift striking crouching feline moves as well [...]

  • CGR’s Immersive Premium Format Set for

    Immersive Theater Technology Set for US Debut in Los Angeles

    French multiplex company CGR Cinemas has selected the Regal LA Live as the first U.S. theater to use its Immersive Cinema Experience technology. The ICE format will be unveiled in the fall at the downtown location in a partnership between CGR and AEG. The companies made the announcement Wednesday but did not reveal which title [...]

  • Amazon Developing Original Series Based on

    Amazon Studios Buys 'Selah and the Spades,' Will Develop Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to “Selah and the Spades,” a gripping look at a prep school drug dealer, Variety has learned. The film marks the feature debut of writer and director Tayarisha Poe and had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it was a favorite with critics. Amazon has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content