Warner Bros. Pictures has confirmed details of its wide specialty release of “Detective Chinatown 3” in North America. The film will reach American theaters on Jan. 24, coinciding with a huge outing handled by Wanda Pictures in China at the beginning of Chinese New Year (aka Spring Festival).
The mainland Chinese-produced franchise movie is pitched as an action-comedy-mystery sequel that is once again written and directed by Chen Sicheng (“Detective Chinatown,” “Detective Chinatown 2”). Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran reprise their roles as a mismatched crime-solving duo. Third time out, the action shifts to Tokyo, after previous excursions to Thailand and New York.
Warner reports that it will open the film “in more than 150 theaters and limited IMAX engagements in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Toronto and Vancouver.”
Releases of most Chinese films in North America target the Chinese diaspora, rather than crossover audiences. And they aim at 35-60 screens on opening. In a note, the studio listed 51 towns and cities where “Chinatown 3” will open. It said that the film is R-rated and will carry both English and Chinese sub-titles.
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The film also features Thai martial arts superstar Tony Jaa (“Furious 7,” “Ong Bak”) and Japanese actors Satoshi Tsumabuki (“Detective Chinatown 2,” “Paradise Next”) and Tadanobu Asano (“Midway,” “Thor: Ragnarok”). The growing success of the franchise is also an excuse for guest appearances by stars from Greater China including: Xiao Yang, Zhang Zifeng, Roy Chiu, Ning Chang, Janice Man, Zhang Yibai and Clara Lee.
In 2015, “Detective Chinatown” grossed $125 million in China and $474,000 in North America. “Detective Chinatown 2” grossed $541 million in China and $1.98 million in North America.