Ne Zha, China’s animated blockbuster hit of the summer, is gearing up to hit North American theaters later this month, according to an announcement made by the film’s producer.
A still from Chinese animated blockbuster Ne Zha (Photo: Mtime)
Well Go USA Entertainment, a distribution label specializing in bringing top Asian film titles to US cinemas, will release the film exclusively in select 3D IMAX theaters across North America on Aug 29, followed by a nationwide expansion on Sept 6.
In addition, the film is set to hit the big screen in Australia and New Zealand on Aug 23 and 29 respectively.
“Can’t believe going overseas to promote Chinese culture can also be Zhaer’s mission,” one popular comment read on Weibo, China’s twitter-equivalent.
However, overseas Chinese in regions without a premiere date are apparently not satisfied with the news, letting off steam on social media.
“I still want to know when it will be released in Japan,” one Weibo user commented.
“Why is the United Kingdom not included?” another user asked.
Written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker Yang Yu, also known as Jiaozi, the film tells of Ne Zha, a boy deity born as a social outcast because of a divine prophecy that he would destroy the world. He tries to reverse his predetermined fate and change people’s views of him by choosing good over evil and becoming a true hero.
Built on a successful adaptation of Chinese mythological tale and excellent word-of-mouth, the film - the first Chinese animated film made in the IMAX format - is proving to have long legs at the box office, eclipsing all other movies released in the same period.
With a total box office of 4.1 billion yuan ($582 million) and counting, Ne Zhais the highest-grossing animated feature ever in China, and the fourth-largest theatrical release in the country’s box office history.
Many industry pundits believe the film, whose screening period has been extended through Sep 26, is sure to outpace Avengers: Endgameto be the third-highest earner at the Chinese box office.