Fresh off the news that it had picked up five Academy Award nominations, best-picture nominee “Green Book” is set for more good fortune. The film will hit Chinese theaters on March 1, the first weekend after the Oscars on Feb. 24, Alibaba Pictures announced on its official social media account.
The film will open in China more than three months after its Nov. 21 U.S. release, which means that tech-savvy Chinese viewers have plenty of time to see it illegally online. But awards-season glory could give “Green Book” a box office boost. A Chinese-language poster circulating online prominently features the Oscar nods, with a picture of a statuette and the list of nominations taking up more space than even the film’s title.
Alibaba Pictures recently confirmed that it had invested in the movie, and has been talking up its involvement since earlier this month. Alibaba owns the major ticketing platform Tao Piaopiao, which it will likely use to help promote the film.
“It is such an amazing picture, which includes humorous dialogue, excellent acting performance, and touching friendship,” Alibaba Pictures cited its president, Zhang Wei, as saying in its post Tuesday about the release date. “We are so honored to participate in the course of co-production, as well as to introduce it to the Chinese audience.” He added that the film “brings joy to audiences and transmits the values of ‘positive energy,'” using a popular Communist Party catchphrase.
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The comedic drama starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali recently nabbed three Golden Globes, including best motion picture, comedy, and the Producers Guild of America’s Award for best picture. It received five Oscar nods for best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, best original screenplay and best film editing. Mortensen is best known in China for his turn as Aragorn in the “Lord of the Rings” series, while Ali is popular for his work in “House of Cards.”
Alibaba says that the film will be imported by China Film Group, distributed by Huaxia Distribution, and translated for Chinese audiences by the Changying Group.