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CMC Pictures, the international film distributor controlled by Li Ruigang’s China Media Capital Holdings, has acquired global distribution rights to Animal World, the forthcoming Chinese comic book movie co-starring Michael Douglas. CMC plans to give the film a worldwide release this summer.
Directed by Han Yan and co-staring Li Yifeng, the movie is an adaptation of the hit Japanese manga Ultimate Survivor Kaiji. Li stars as a shape-shifting vigilante clown battling an array of monsters in a shadowy big city. Douglas plays an icy villain.
Beijing-based Enlight Pictures is producing the film, which is set to get a major release in the Middle Kingdom on June 29.
Established in 2016 with support from the Chinese government, CMC has built a distribution network in 50 countries. The company says its presence is strongest in North America, Australia-New Zealand, the U.K., Germany and Southeast Asia.
“Our main target is still the Chinese diaspora audience living overseas, but over time we expect to build a substantial non-Chinese audience for Chinese films,” said CMC CEO Su Jia.
The company hopes Animal World will prove to be an overseas breakthrough. “We are going to do a wide, mainstream marketing campaign for Animal World,” Su said. “TV commercials, print, billboards, everywhere that will give Americans a chance to see that there are high-quality Chinese films produced from an international perspective.”
CMC handled international distribution on Chinese megablockbuster Wolf Warrior 2, which played in 35 countries, where it earned $7.8 million.
A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter’s May 11 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.
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