According to an official release calendar seen by THR, many of the studios’ biggest tentpoles will open in China day-and-date with North America throughout May and June.
Hollywood’s early-summer release schedule in China, the world’s second-largest movie market, is falling into place — and the official calendar is looking advantageous for the U.S. studios.
Most of the studios’ biggest tentpoles of May and June will open in China day-and-date with North America, according to an official China Film Group release schedule seen by The Hollywood Reporter. In the past, China’s film regulators have been known to schedule Hollywood releases just three to four weeks in advance, which occasionally has hampered local marketing campaigns. Having the calendar so soon should be a boon, as some of these projects will have an easier time arranging high-profile Chinese premieres and marketing events featuring the films’ busy talent.
20th Century Fox’s Alien: Covenant, directed by Ridley Scott, has been set for May 19, the same day it debuts stateside. One week later, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will wash ashore in the Middle Kingdom and North America simultaneously on May 26, followed by Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman on June 2. Universal’s The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, will then stalk into China on June 9.
In a coup for Lionsgate, Ascendant, the final film in the Divergent series, has been granted a theatrical release in China on June 7. In North America, the film was controversially reconfigured as TV-movie release, in order to help launch a spinoff series.
Disney’s Cars 3 will race into Chinese cinemas on June 16, before Transformers: The Last Knight crashes into the marketplace on June 23. The preceding film in the Michael Bay-directed Paramount franchise earned a historic $330 million in China in 2014. Universal’s Despicable Me 3 will close out the month on June 30.
Universal’s The Fate of the Furious is currently doing massive business in the Middle Kingdom. The movie scored a record $190 million debut last weekend and cruised past the $200 million mark on Monday, bringing its four-day total to an astonishing $216 million.
Next up for the studios in China is Sony’s Smurfs: The Lost Village on April 21, followed by Marvel and Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5.