24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Chinese Film

Legendary East's first film project: scaling China's 'Great Wall'

August 23, 2011 |  5:53 pm

Legendary Pictures is kicking off its new China venture with a movie about the country's best-known structure. The newly formed Legendary East announced Tuesday that its first production will be "The Great Wall," which will tell "why this magnificent structure came to be," according to the company.

"Last Samurai" and "Love and Other Drugs" writer-director Edward Zwick is penning the screenplay with his longtime collaborator Marshall Herskovitz. It's based on a story by Max Brooks, writer of the upcoming thriller "World War Z," and Thomas Tull, Legendary Pictures' chairman.

Legendary East aims to produce English-language movies in China based on local culture that are intended to be released around the world. Because it works with a local distributor, Huayi Brothers, its films are not subject to the communist country's restrictions on how many foreign movies can be imported each year.

"The Great Wall" will be directed by Zwick, but does not yet have a release date.


Legendary East to go public with initial value of $441 million

Legendary Pictures to produce movies in China through joint venture

Relativity Media opens a door into China

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Marshall Herskovitz, left, and Edward Zwick at an AFI event in June. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

China Lion to bring Fox International's 'Love in Space' to U.S. theaters

July 12, 2011 |  1:28 pm

Hot-summer-days-2010-3 Fox International Productions has built a small yet thriving business making low-budget foreign-language movies that almost never travel beyond their country of origin. But now Fox International and China Lion will try to see if there is an American audience for one such local-language production, scheduling a Sept. 9 U.S. release for the Chinese romantic comedy “Love in Space.”

Since October, China Lion has released seven Chinese films in U.S. theaters, hoping Chinese Americans (and perhaps some English-speaking art house enthusiasts) will turn out. So far, the results have been spotty. China Lion’s highest-grossing release, 2010’s “If You Are the One 2,” grossed $427,000 domestically, a fraction of what it made in China.

The returns were materially poorer for some other titles, which include the Communist Party history “Beginning of the Great Revival” and a Mandarin-language remake of “What Women Want.”

Fox International has made movies in India, Russia and Brazil, among other places, with its Hong Kong-based comedy “Hot Summer Days” among the most successful. “Love in Space” comes from the same directors as “Hot Summer Days,” Wing Shya and Tony Chan. The film, which opens in China the same time the film premieres in North America, stars Aaron Kwok, René Liu, Eason Chan, Gwei Lun Mei, Angelababy, Jing Boran and Xu Fan.


Reel China: It's rough out West for Chinese films

Reel China: Targets an elusive film fan — the Chinese American

Reel China: Hollywood tries to stay on China's good side

-- John Horn

Photo: Movie poster of "Hot Summer Days." Credit: Fox International Productions




Can China pull an 'Avatar' in reverse?

December 20, 2010 |  5:27 pm

1 American movie studios love doing business in China — “Avatar” grossed more in the world’s most populous nation than any territory besides the United States.

Now the country’s China Lion Film Distribution and Huayi Bros. want to see if the opposite might work, and will release "If You Are the One 2" in American multiplexes the same day it premieres in Chinese theaters. China Lion said the simultaneous release, set for Dec. 24, is the first day-and-date premiere for a Chinese film in both America and China.

Writer-director Feng Xiaogang’s “If You Are the One 2,” a sequel to his 2008 romantic comedy, is the second U.S. release for China Lion, which also distributed Feng's “Aftershock.”  That film, China's biggest box-office hit, is the country’s official submission for the foreign language Academy Award.

“If You Are the One 2” will premiere in about 20 AMC and Cineplex locations, China Lion said.

-- John Horn


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