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Arnold Schwarzenegger got on the publicity trail in eastern China this week as he tried to give Terminator Genisys a push in a market that is growing in importance for Hollywood movies, despite a recent currency devaluation and slower economic growth.
Terminator Genisys is slotted for an Aug. 23 release and will lead Hollywood’s return to Chinese theaters after the annual summer blackout period, when domestic movies have a clear run for nearly six weeks.
The 68-year-old star attended the Shanghai bow of the $155 million reboot from Skydance Productions and Paramount, which has made nearly $325 million since its release in July, but has seen just $89 million of that coming from the domestic market.
Producers are hoping that a good run in China will help the movie pass the $400 million threshold.
He was joined at the premiere by movie’s director, Alan Taylor.
The recent devaluation of the Chinese yuan against the greenback, worth around 3.5 percent, has execs in Hollywood worried about lower box-office totals.
However, with the market up 50 percent year-on-year, there is still plenty of scope for Hollywood to do well in China.
Other big U.S. titles scheduled post-blackout include Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Minions and Pixels. Inside Out and Fantastic Four are also expected to get release dates.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation comes on Sept. 8. Minions and Pixels are scheduled to go on Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, respectively. This could see the two animated features cancel each other out at the box office.
During his visit, Schwarzenegger appeared on The Voice of China, which is into the final stages of the fourth season.
He appeared with Taiwanese star Jay Chou, who is a celebrity coach on the show, and asked him to make a musical based on Terminator that he would then take part in. Chow said he’d think about it.
The former California governor had dinner with Ng See-yuen, a famous Shanghainese director and producer whose credits include the Jackie Chan movies Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master.
This year, the blackout began on June 19, meaning the last Hollywood tentpole to play in China was Jurassic World.
Sending the star to China is a great way to ensure extra revenues.
Prior to the blackout, Hollywood was enjoying a powerful run in China this year, with Furious 7 becoming the biggest movie in Chinese history, and with big movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World also earning significant sums.
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