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‘Spies in Disguise’ Given January Release in China

U.S. animation “Spies in Disguise,” which stars the voices of Will Smith and Tom Holland, will hit Chinese cinemas on Jan. 3. It was produced by Blue Sky Studios, which is best known for the “Ice Age” and “Rio” franchises and has recently come under the Disney umbrella.

The film is the first feature from directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane. Initially set to hit U.S. cinemas in January, its release date there was pushed back three times amidst Disney’s buyout of 21st Century Fox assets. It finally opened on Christmas Day, on 3,500 screens.

In the movie, Smith’s and Holland’s characters must work together to stop a bad guy and turn a secret agent who was transformed into a pigeon back into a human.

So far little competition is lined up for the film’s debut weekend in the new year in China. It is set to premiere alongside a 4K remastering of the 1997 Italian Oscar winner “Life Is Beautiful,” and the day before local animation “Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn.” On Jan. 10, Awkwafina’s acclaimed and heartwarming comedy, “The Farewell,” which is partly set in northeast China, will finally be released in China after getting pushed back from its original late-November release date.

Smith and Holland are both familiar to Chinese audiences through their turns in recent blockbusters released in the territory. Smith starred in Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man,” which grossed $33.4 million in China, and Holland in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” which grossed $199 million, and is the third top-grossing Hollywood film of the year in China. He also starred in “Avengers: Endgame,” which made $614 million.

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