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HONG KONG – Fortissimo Films has inked a deal with the entertainment subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group to co-handle worldwide sales of Chinese hit movie The Great Hypnotist, excluding Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Fortissimo will present the film in the upcoming Cannes market with Wanda.
The Great Hypnotist, presently in theaters in China, grossed $25 million in its first week of release.
The mystery thriller — about a renowned hypnotherapist and a patient that he could not break through to — is the second commercial success for its Taiwanese director Leste Chen since his 2013 romantic comedy Say Yes. The Great Hypnotist stars the Chinese superstar Xu Zheng (Lost in Thailand) and Hong Kong singer-actress Karen Mok (Around the World in 80 Days). The film premiered as the closing film at last month’s Beijing International Film Festival and will be screened next week at the Cannes market.
“Wanda Media is one of the World’s most exciting and globally focused entertainment companies in the Industry today,” said Fortissimo chairman Michael J. Werner. “The chance to work with Wanda on Leste Chen’s The Great Hypnotist is a fantastic opportunity for Fortissimo to bring another breakthrough film from China to the world. This film represents a continuing evolution in the global outlook of Chinese cinema by combining a commercial genre with a strong budget, great production values, and an engaging and engrossing story, packaged together with stunning visuals and artistic highlights which I am sure will be well received by audiences everywhere.”
Wanda Media’s Vice-President and Head of Distribution James Li said, “We believe that The Great Hypnotist has the potential to enjoy success around the globe, and that by working with Fortissimo, we can achieve that goal.”
Along with The Great Hypnotist, Fortissimo’s Cannes slate includes a number of high profile films, such as Berlin’s Golden Bear Winner, Black Coal, Thin Ice, Fruit Chan’s The Midnight After, Ira Sach’s Love Is Strange, and Isabel Coixet’s, Another Me; and pre-sale titles such as Terence Davies‘s Sunset Song, John Cameron Mitchell’s, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Alex Van Warmerdam’s Schneider Vs. Bax, and Roger Goldby’s The Time of Their Lives, starring Joan Collins and Pauline Collins.
Wanda Media is the fully owned and operated subsidiary of the Wanda Group. Apart from its film and television production and distribution business, the company runs the largest cinema chain in China and Asia. It has become the world’s largest exhibitor after its acquisition of U.S.’s AMC chain. Wanda Media plans to produce eight films annually in the next three years and distribute an additional nine films per year.