Last year’s “Detective Chinatown 2” debuted in the competitive Chinese New Year period and brought in $496 million (RMB3.39 billion) to become the country’s fifth-highest-grossing title of all time. The third installment is scheduled to hit theaters on the first day of next year’s lunar near year holiday, on Jan. 25, 2020. It is being directed by Chen Sicheng, who did the first two films, and once again stars Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran, who are this time joined by Satoshi Tsumabuki.
Also on Wanda’s slate is a remake of the Indian thriller “Drishyam,” which was made in 2013 in the Malayalam language, the official tongue of Kerala state, and then remade in Hindi in 2015. The Hindi-language version earned $16 million worldwide. It tells the story of a man who tries to save his family from the law after they commit an unexpected crime.
“The King’s Avatar: For the Glory” is an animated feature set for release this summer. The film is an adaptation of the popular web novel of the same name about an online gamer fighting for a win once he is kicked off his team. It has already been adapted into a manga and popular TV anime series.
A fourth new project is a documentary called “Where Is My Flight Home” by director Wang Lei, which tells the story of four families living in Pi Village, a suburb on the outskirts of Beijing popular with low-income migrant workers, near the site of the capital’s new international airport. In late 2017, a fire in a nearby clothing factory became an excuse for a protracted government crackdown on migrants under the guise of clearing out fire hazards and regulating substandard buildings. Many were suddenly forced from their homes in the dead of winter, leaving them with no choice but to go back to their hometowns.
Wanda is also representing two 2018 titles whose rights have already been sold in most major territories. “Airpocalypse” is a comedy that grossed $18 million (RMB124 million), whose rights have been already been sold in China, Taiwan, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. “The Crossing” has been sold in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, North America, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.
Last month, Wanda Film reported a net profit of $189 million (RMB1.29 billion) in 2018 on revenue of $2 billion (RMB14 billion), a 14.6% decline from the previous year. Last year, it pulled out of its theme parks and film studios, selling the businesses to property developer Sunac for $900 million (RMB6.28 billion).
Its latest film was “The Human Comedy,” which grossed just $9.2 million (RMB62.8 million) after its late March debut. Upcoming films include “Oh! Boy!” later this year and “Tianxingshu” and “Mojin 2” in 2020.