Chinese films lock National Day holiday slots

Chinese films lock National Day holiday slots

By Kevin Ma

Wed, 16 April 2014, 12:30 PM (HKT)

Distribution News

Several high-profile Chinese-language films have already announced their release dates for this year's National Day holiday, one of the four most competitive distribution periods each year in China.

Director Peter CHAN 陳可辛 planted the first flag earlier this month with Dearest 親愛的 (literally, "Dear Child), a drama about child abductions starring Vicki ZHAO 趙薇, HUANG Bo 黃渤, and TONG Dawei 佟大為. The film is currently in production.

Last week, director NING Hao 寧浩 announced at the annual China Film Directors' Guild 中國電影導演協會 meeting that his forthcoming road movie comedy Breakup Buddies 心花路放 is set for a 30 Sep opening. Starring Lost in Thailand 人再囧途之泰囧 (2012)'s Huang Bo and XU Zheng 徐崢, the film is currently in post-production.

Yesterday, Stellar Mega Films Co Ltd 星美(北京)影業有限公司 held a press conference (pictured) announcing that Ann HUI 許鞍華's period drama The Golden Era 黃金時代 will open on 1 Oct. Starring TANG Wei 湯唯, William FENG 馮紹峰 and WANG Qianyuan 王千源, the LI Qiang 李檣-penned film chronicles the life of writer Xiao Hong 蕭紅.

Golden Era made its market debut during Berlin's European Film Market (EFM) in February with sales represented by Hong Kong's Edko Films Ltd 安樂影片有限公司.

In a trend that began last year, Chinese companies are increasingly staking out releasing slots early as part of their extended marketing campaigns.

Last year, the companies behind Police Story 2013 警察故事2013, Personal Tailor 私人訂製 and The Monkey King 西遊記之大鬧天宮 used large-scale press events to publicise their films' release dates more than six months in advance.

However, a wide variety of unpredictable factors — from a delay in the issuance of screening approval to excessive competition in the same release slot – mean that film companies can still change release dates at the last minute.

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