LA-headquartered China Lion Film Distribution has picked up Chinese titles Running Man and Somewhere Only We Know for release in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Both will go day-and-date with their Mainland debuts later this month and in mid-February, the latter taking advantage of the early Chinese New Year corridor. (See teasers below.)
Each of the films has a strong hook for Chinese, and Korean, audiences. Running Man mixes talent from both countries and is adapted from a popular reality TV series which itself was based on an original Korean format. Somewhere Only We Know taps the trend of romance and nostalgia, and stars Kris Wu, a former member of Korean/Chinese boy band EXO.
Running Man, which China Lion picked up from Wanda Media Group, is a feature spinoff of the popular reality TV show that revolves around celebrity teams who compete against one another for an ultimate prize. There is a precedent for a reality-to-big-screen transfers in China with last year’s Dad, Where Are We Going? having morphed into a feature that grossed more than $100M at the Middle Kingdom box office. Running Man’s cast includes stars of some of China’s biggest recent hits with Lost In Thailand’s Wang Baoqiang, Aftershock’s Li Chen, So Young’s Zheng Kai and Love On The Cloud’s Angelababy, joined by Korean singer and TV personality Kim Jong-kook and Chen He (Back In Time). The show was adapted by Zhejiang TV in China and is produced by Zhenjiang Blue Star Media, Huayi Bros and Wanda Media. Running Man opens on January 29 Down Under and on January 30 in North America and China.
Somewhere Only We Know, acquired from Distribution Workshop, will open February 12 in Australia and New Zealand, and on February 13 in the U.S. and Canada. Set to be China Lion’s biggest release ever, it’s directed and co-written by Xu Jinglei. The romantic drama, shot in English and Mandarin, takes place in Prague and stars Wu, along with TV actress Claudia Wang and Gordon Alexander, who has performed stunt work in The Dark Knight Rises, 300: Rise Of An Empire and the upcoming Everest. Xu also co-stars in the film which is her sixth as director. It centers on a love story set across time and is co-written by Wang Shuo, who penned Feng Xiaogang hits Personal Tailor and If You Are The One. Kaila Pictures produces.
Check out the teasers:
Somewhere Only We Know: