Movies

Lionsgate to release The Hunger Games in China

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MUMBAI: Lionsgate has been green lighted to release The Hunger Games in China in the first half of June. The film, starring Jennifer Lawrence has already grossed $620 million in worldwide box office.

China watchers were likely surprised by the smooth entry of the Lionsgate blockbuster into China, given the film‘s anti-authoritarian themes and the current politically sensitive climate in the country.

"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," Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman said in a statement.

The moves comes as a surprise as the Suzanne Collins books on which Hunger Games is based has not sold as widely overseas as in North America.

Now, with Hunger Games set for release in China, Lionsgate is hopeful that the Catching Fire sequel would also get approval for a release in China.

The Hunger Games release, in both dubbed and subtitled prints, will be executed by The China Film Group and Lionsgate partner Talent International.

The Hunger Games will be among the first major Hollywood films to be released in China under the landmark revenue sharing agreement announced in February that allows foreign distributors to collect up to 25 per cent of a film‘s receipts in China.

Back in 2010, Avatar, the highest grossing movie in China ever, was unexpectedly pulled early from 2D screens amidst reports that propaganda officials had deemed the film‘s domestic market dominance undesirable and its storyline too similar to a sensitive issue of the day: the forced eviction of Chinese villagers to make way for civic and commercial development.

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