It will go up against five other local titles releasing that day, but none of note. Competitive Chinese films have either timed their release for this week during the National Day holiday, or are waiting for a later time when those titles blow over, thereby leaving a bit of a gap in the schedule. Chinese authorities informally ban foreign films from releasing during the holiday as a protectionist measure.
Directed by Steve McQueen and written by the British helmer and Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl,” “Sharp Objects”) 20th Century Fox’s “Widows” tells the story of four women (Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, and Cynthia Erivo) stuck with the debt of their dead husbands who join forces to execute a heist. It premiered at Toronto in September, 2018 and went on to earn $42.4 million in North America and $76 million globally, with its strongest territories being the U.K. ($8.3 million) and France ($2.95 million)
Crime thrillers are a popular genre in China, with local films like “Sheep Without A Shepherd,” which has grossed $192 million, becoming financial hits.
Although Davis is not a household name in China, her “Widows” co-star Liam Neeson is a well-known entity to Chinese audiences, who have been exposed to theatrical runs of even his lesser films (2019’s “Cold Pursuit,” 2018’s “The Commuter,” 2017’s “A Monster Calls”).