Release of new Hollywood movies in China set to benefit world’s two largest film markets: expert
Published: Nov 10, 2023 12:04 AM
The Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California. Photo: VCG

The Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California. Photo: VCG

As November kicks in, Hollywood is gearing up for an intensive release period with four major films set to hit Chinese theaters, which film critics said could bring strong support for the home stretch of the annual box office both in China and North America. 

Shi Wenxue, a film critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that November and early December is usually the "Hollywood month" in the Chinese film market as a lot of Hollywood films tend to be released during the period, aiming to set the stage for the New Year film period.

"After the global pandemic crisis, it is good to see the return of Hollywood movies. Their release would undoubtedly help to improve the annual box office of the world's two largest film markets - China and the US," he said, adding that The Marvels might get the most attention among Chinese moviegoers due to its well-known characters. 

The superhero movie is set to premiere in the Chinese mainland on Friday, the same day as in North America.

Brie Larson, an Oscar-winning actress, reprises her role as Captain Marvel, showcasing her formidable powers in a universe-spanning adventure. The film introduces new characters for a thrilling cosmic escapade. Early reviews for the film are mixed, with a 58 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 50-point composite score on Metacritic.

Then on November 17, Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Songbird and The Snake will have its global premiere. Adapted from the immensely popular book series, the film is directed by Francis Lawrence, who also directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Disney's new film, Wish, will debut on November 22 in North America and November 24 in the Chinese mainland. Dubbed by Chinese actress Liu Yifei and actor Yu Shi, the animated feature follows the story of Asha, a determined and resilient girl. 

December 8 will see the release of Wonka, the prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Focusing on Willy Wonka's youth, the film narrates his adventures leading up to becoming the head of the chocolate factory. Hollywood heartthrob Timothee Chalamet takes on the lead role, adding a fresh allure to Wonka's character. Behind the scenes, the film boasts a stellar team, with producer David Heyman, known for the Harry Potter series, and Paul King, director of the Paddington series, at the helm.

So far this year, the Chinese box office has grossed 49.68 billion yuan ($6.82 billion), and has surpassed the level from 2020 to 2022, when the global pandemic hit cinemas hard. 

"It would be ideal if the annual box office in China could achieve 50 billion yuan," Shi said.