‘The Hunger Games’ has already earned $605 million worldwide but one market it hasn’t yet opened in is China. Well, Lionsgate has remedied that situation and has just received approval to release the film this June.
Getting approval to have your movie shown in China is big news. Not a lot of films obtain approval from the Chinese government and this move will open the movie and the novels that it is based upon to a bigger world market.
‘The Hunger Games’ is one of the first major Hollywood films to be released under China’s new revenue sharing agreement. This agreement allows foreign distributors to collect up to 25 percent of the film’s receipt. Previously, Western distributors were only allotted 13-17 percent.
In a statement release announcing the news, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Patrick Wachsbeger and Rob Friedman said, “China is already one of the leading territories at the international box office, and the launch of ‘The Hunger Games’ in this key market is another sign of the franchise’s continuing emergence as a truly global phenomenon.”
The film will be released in a dubbed and subtitled form and its success in that country may well depend on the political climate during its run. See, back in 2010, ‘Avatar‘, was pulled from screens by the government propaganda officials who thought the storyline was too similar to the real life situation of the forced eviction of Chinese villagers to make way for commercial development. Even with this occurring, the movie is still considered the highest grossing movie ever in China despite this move.
The anti-authoritarian theme of ‘The Hunger Games’ does make one pause to wonder how the film will be received in China considering its governernment structure. Lionsgate and others will most likely be following the buzz there when the film is released sometime in the first half of June.
Regardless, this is a big coup for Lionsgate, ‘The Hunger Games’ and Suzanne Collins as it brings the story of Katniss and Peeta to a whole new audience and hopefully will open the door for the sequel ‘Catching Fire’ in China.