So much for the speculation that Lionsgate might wait until 2014 to take the film to China. Hunger Games: Catching Fire will open day-and-date with the global release unlike the first film, which was delayed for three months. The initial Hunger Games generated $27M in China, and the new one — which will also appear in IMAX — likely “will do materially better,” Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil says. It’ll be a big week for film goers in China: The new Hunger Games opens a day after the premiere there of Warner Bros’ Gravity.
Here’s Lionsgate’s announcement:
SANTA MONICA, CA, October 22, 2013 – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, announced today that the second installment of its global blockbuster The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, has been approved for a November 21, 2013 release on more than 3,000 screens in China.
The film will be released nationwide in China with both dubbed and subtitled prints by the China Film Group in conjunction with Lionsgate’s Beijing-based promotional partner, Talent International Film Co. Ltd. The release in China joins the list of virtually day-and-date releases in more than 50 territories around the world.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has become a truly global phenomenon, and its day-and-date release in this key territory further cements its status as a worldwide motion picture event of epic proportions,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman.
“The release of the first Hunger Games film in China established a strong fan base on which Catching Fire is positioned to build,” said Wendy Reeds, Executive Vice President of Content Sales & Distribution for Celestial Tiger Entertainment (CTE). “China has become one of the world’s leading box office territories, and the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in China is another major step forward in our distribution of film and TV content in this key market.”
Lionsgate has recently scored at the Chinese box office with the successful theatrical releases of Now You See Me, The Impossible and the first Hunger Games film.
The Company is currently in production on the third and fourth Hunger Games films, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay I & II.