‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ ‘Allied’ Secure China Release Dates

Patrick Frater
Variety

Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” and Robert Zemeckis’ “Allied” have both landed theatrical release dates in China this year. They add to an already bulging calendar in late November and December.

“Allied” will get an outing on Wednesday Nov. 30 through China Film Co. “Hacksaw Ridge” will release on Thurs Dec. 8 through the other state-owned vehicle Huaxia Distribution. Earlier this year sales agent IM Global announced that it had licensed the film to China’s YooZoo.

A recent confirmation that Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” was to get a Dec. 9 release appeared to show China’s import quotas being stretched beyond their normal 34 films per year. Hollywood titles also appear to be being given release slots deeper into December.

Normally the last month of the year is the busiest at Chinese cinemas as companies and spectators cash in coupons and other incentives that only last until the end of the calendar year. And Chinese regulators usually operate a “blackout period” preventing new releases of major foreign titles and optimizing the chances for domestic Chinese-made titles .

This year, after a painful box office slump that started in mid-year, regulators appear to be opening the market. They are doing so in order to stimulate demand and keep thousands of newly build turnstiles turning.

Other major foreign titles releasing in China include “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Moana” both on Nov. 25; “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and Japanese animation hit “Your Name,” both on Dec. 2.

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