Three long-awaited films have finally locked their China release dates after months of speculation.
WONG Kar-wai 王家衛's martial arts drama The Grandmasters 一代宗師 will open on 18 Dec, WEI Te-sheng 魏德聖's war epic Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale 賽德克・巴萊 on 10 May, and Dayyan ENG 伍仕賢's black comedy Inseparable 形影不離 on 4 May 2012.
The opening of the still-in-production The Grandmasters in mid-December puts it in the midst of one of the most competitive slots in China's releasing calendar. It will likely go head-to-head with Ang LEE 李安's Life of Pi, while Jackie CHAN 成龍's Chinese Zodiac 十二生肖, which opens 12 Dec, is still on release.
Warriors, which opened in Taiwan in Sep 2011 in two parts, was submitted to the State Administration of Radio, Film & Television (SARFT) 國家廣播電影電視總局 in December in its new international version with additional cuts made for violence. Further cuts were demanded last month.
Inseparable, which stars Kevin SPACEY opposite Daniel WU 吳彥祖, had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival 부산국제영화제 in Oct 2011. It opens in China one day before The Avengers and after a slew of late April films from local directors.
Next week, NING Hao 寧浩's Guns and Roses 黃金大劫案 goes head-to-head with Leon YANG 楊樹鵬's An Inaccurate Memoir 匹夫 on 24 May, followed four days later by the release of GUAN Hu 管虎's Design of Death 殺生. All are competing with each other and Hollywood films.
Alien invasion film Battleship opened at midnight today in China, 18 Apr, two days before originally scheduled. It is itself struggling to secure screening slots from Titanic (1997), which had taken RMB467 million ($74.2 million) by Sunday night after just six days on release.