It’s a move that would suggest that the country’s normally strict quota on foreign film imports may be expanding as, typically, Chinese government regulations would have prevented changes to the theatrical film calendar this late in the year.
The film, which was sold internationally via IM Global, isn’t the only World War II epic out for release in the Middle Kingdom this year: Robert Zemeckis’ Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, is set for a November 30 release through China Film Co. Pitt is promoting the Paramount title in Shanghai this week, marking the first time the actor has made a promotional appearance for a film in China in more than 20 years, since the country’s government reportedly didn’t approve of his 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet.
China typically allows the import of only 34 foreign films per year on revenue-sharing terms. But after a mid-year box office slump, regulators seem to be expanding their rules in a bid to counteract the box-office growth.
In December, regulators have normally operated a “blackout period,” preventing new releases of non-Chinese titles in order to optimize the chances of home-grown fare but maximizing box office potential seems to be higher on the agenda this year.
Additional overseas titles released in China in 2016 include Eddie Redmayne starrer Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Disney’s Moana, both set to release on November 25; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as well as Japanese animation title Your Name, which are both out on December 2.