Universal’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw has secured an August 23 release date in China. Fast & Furious is a huge property in the market where Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham also both excel individually. The last F&F movie, The Fate Of The Furious, did about $393M in the Middle Kingdom in 2017 and remains the No. 8 film ever there, and the 2nd best Hollywood offering. In 2015, Furious 7 was the No. 1 movie of the year with $391M.
Bucking a mini-trend this summer, Hobbs & Shaw will go to China three weeks after domestic and the rest of international rollout begins.
It also will see the Fast & Furious spinoff as possibly the last Hollywood film before China cordons off screens for local movies in September, ahead of the October 1 celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
This summer has been flipped upside down in the Middle Kingdom with several local titles shelved amid censorship and production woes. Rather than the typical July blackout, the month is open to studio pictures with Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home bowing last weekend and Disney’s The Lion King teed up for July 12; both of those films slotted in a week prior to their domestic releases.
Hopes for the local business are now pinned on Looking Up which releases July 18, as well as potentially sci-fi pic Shanghai Fortress which opens August 9. That Hobbs & Shaw is later possibly leans in its favor. (Universal also has Yesterday in China on August 16.)
Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby also star in Hobbs & Shaw, the globe-trotting spinoff that pits Johnson’s Hobbs and Statham’s Shaw in an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. David Leitch directs.
Overseas play begins July 31 with North America joining on August 2. A handful of other offshore majors release in the weeks following.