EXCLUSIVE: Only The Brave, the real-life story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, has secured a release date in China. Directed by Joseph Kosinski and produced by Black Label Media, Condé Nast Entertainment and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the drama stars Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Jennifer Connelly. It will go out via China Film Group on December 8, I’ve learned.
David U Lee’s Leeding Media controls all rights exclusively in China and secured theatrical distribution in the market where emotional heroism dramas can excel. The movie focuses on the elite forest fire crew that saw 19 of its members killed while fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire near Prescott, AZ in June 2013. Lionsgate, which is handling distribution in most international territories, acted as sales agent in the Middle Kingdom.
Leeding, led by founder and CEO Lee and partner and COO Steven Squillante, will oversee the local marketing campaign with partners Baian Films and Joy Pictures. Leeding has previously theatrically marketed 12 features in China including Million Dollar Baby, the Divergent series, Ender’s Game, GI Jane and The Wedding Planner. Leeding also controls exclusive Chinese digital distribution rights to nearly 500 titles.
Sony was the U.S. distributor on Only The Brave. Domestically, it opened to strong reviews in October and grossed $17.7M. The movie tells the story of the 20-man team, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, that fought the deadliest wildfire in Arizona’s history and died as brothers trapped on a mountainside in a circle of fire. Only one survived. Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer penned the screenplay based on Sean Flynn’s GQ article “No Exit.”
December is typically a blackout period on imports, although this year has several in the first few weeks including Darkest Hour this coming Friday, followed by Only The Brave, 47 Meters Down and Paddington 2 on December 8.