More news on the Monster Hunter and Wonder Woman 1984 fronts with China dates now set for both films. The former, starring Milla Jovovich, has landed a December 4 release in the Middle Kingdom while Warner Bros/DC’s Gal Gadot sequel is due to hit cinemas there on December 18. Contrary to the situation domestically, where Deadline recently reported the films will go head-to-head on December 25, the female-fronted actioners will have two weeks separating them in China — and both are poised to perform strongly in the market. Monster Hunter producer Constantin Film confirmed the December 4 date while the Warner Bros and DC Weibo accounts shared the WW84 news (see the new China poster below).
Word that WW84 is now on deck should come as welcome news to fans in China. The Global Times reported on Thursday that local social media was awash in calls for WB to quickly get the film to the mainland. The December 18 date also gives the Patty Jenkins-directed movie runway before the domestic theatrical and streaming releases, thus helping to stem piracy.
For Monster Hunter, this will be its first outing globally — and in a market where it has strong potential given the popularity of the Capcom game upon which it’s based as well as the track record of Jovovich and director Paul W.S. Anderson. It will release in China via Tencent which is an equity partner in the film. Sony has world rights outside Germany, Austria, Switzerland, China and Japan (Toho has the latter and is also an equity partner).
Constantin handles the German markets and may open the movie a day ahead of China, on December 3. However, this will depend on whether theaters are back up and running in those areas. I’m told that if they are not operating as of that date, then the film is primed to go as soon as they do reopen. Says Constantin boss Martin Moszkowicz, “Given the state of things, we believe that a flexible approach is needed.”
Wonder Woman 1984, which releases day-and-date in theaters and on HBO Max domestically December 25, is due for an international theatrical rollout beginning on December 16, wherever theaters are open. The first Wonder Woman did $409M overseas in 2017, including $90.5M in China.
The market has greatly bounced back since cinemas returned this summer, with 2020 box office surpassing RMB 15B ($2.3B) earlier this month. That’s been largely based on a string of local titles, though Tenet, Mulan, Bad Boys For Life and Dolittle are among the major Hollywood pics to have seen significant China releases, with varying degrees of success. This weekend, STX’s Greenland is rolling out wide while DreamWorks Animation/Universal’s The Croods: A New Age arrives on November 27.
After that, Monster Hunter will see the reteam of the Resident Evil franchise’s Jovovich and Anderson whose last picture, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, did big offshore business back in 2016 with $285.4M at the international box office and led by China’s $159.5M. The overseas take was more than 91% of the cume. Given uncertainty surrounding the status of cinema reopenings in many of the European majors, we are awaiting an update on release plans there.
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