EXCLUSIVE, writethru updated with Geostorm info: Now that the record-setting National Day holiday is wrapped in China, several Hollywood titles are lined up for their go at spinning turnstiles there. Blade Runner 2049 has been moved up from its previously scheduled November 10 date to October 27. This is a potentially key play for the critically praised film which has grossed about $50M to date in its offshore territories. Korea, a major hub, opens tomorrow on the Denis Villeneuve-helmed sci-fi sequel, which is released overseas by Sony. It’s understood that marketing and activations were swiftly moved to coincide with the new Chinese date.
Also importantly, Warner Bros/DC’s Justice League is going on November 17. That sets it day-and-date with the rest of the world, outside Japan, and is a nice coup for the film. The last two DC titles to head to the Middle Kingdom, Wonder Woman and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, grossed $90.5M and $95.8M, respectively there.
As of yesterday, WB’s Geostorm was dated October 20, also the date for Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle. But today, Geostorm was shifted to October 27 where it will face off with Blade Runner.
In other dating, Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is slotted on November 3, a week after much of the world, but in step with North America, and Fox’s Murder On The Orient Express is looking at November 10.
Some of those dates were previously known and some are fresh, but the move to bring up the calendar on Hollywood is thought to be related to the success of the National Day holiday box office. A local source contends that the folks at SAPPRFT are understood to be so pleased with the RMB 2.6B ($390M) that was taken in during the so-called Golden Week that they allowed some imports to enter the market earlier than planned.
The holiday session saw several local releases with the frame led by comedy Never Say Die, currently at about $236M, and STX/Sparkle Roll’s Jackie Chan-starrer The Foreigner at $70M through Tuesday. Another title that fared well, Chasing The Dragon, has made $65M through Tuesday, and stars Andy Lau and Donnie Yen.