Best Picture Oscar nominee Green Book has secured a China release of March 1, a handful of days after the Academy Awards are handed out in Hollywood. Alibaba Pictures, which owns a stake in Amblin Partners, is a financier on the film and will be expected to lean on its popular ticketing platform Tao Piao Piao to support the movie.
Green Book scored five Oscar nominations on Tuesday and should it convert some of those to wins, could see a nice bump in the Middle Kingdom — although it is slotting in during a competitive period and is understood to be the subject of a flat sale rather than going in as a quota title. Recent pics with awards halos that have done well in China include The Revenant, La La Land, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and The Shape Of Water. Moonlight did not release in the Middle Kingdom, but that film’s Oscar winner and Green Book co-star, Mahershala Ali, is well known to House Of Cards fans. Of all of this year’s Best Picture nominees, only Black Panther has so far had a theatrical run in China.
Also swooping into the market on March 1 is Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s. This is the first installment of the $1B+ franchise under DWA’s new home at Uni and has been rolling out internationally in a staggered pattern to take advantage of key holidays around the world. It opens domestically on February 22.
The Dean DeBlois-directed pic first took off in Australia earlier this month and through last Sunday had grossed $29M in 13 markets. Italy, Mexico, the UK, France and Germany come on board over the next two weeks. The movie will also look to benefit from the February 5 Lunar New Year holiday in Korea and South East Asia. That same date of course kicks off the annual China blackout on imports so the market will close off until Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel bows on February 22. The Green Book and HTTYD3 openings follow a week later and are themselves expected to be followed by Disney/Marvel’s Captain Marvel on March 8.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 did over $65M in China in 2014. Both the 2010 and 2014 installments earned nominations in Oscar’s Best Animated Feature category.