'Bridget Jones's Baby' Scores China Release

Bridget Jones's Baby - RENEE ZELLWEGER - Still - H - 2016
Giles Keyte/Universal Studios

The third installment, which has earned just shy of $220 million globally, will be the first film in the franchise to get a theatrical release in China.

British romantic comedy Bridget Jones's Baby has landed a release date in China, the world's No. 2 film market.

Opening Jan. 1, it will be the first film in the hit franchise to land on Chinese screens, where imported romantic comedies rarely score quota slots. The film series has a sizable following among China's cosmopolitan young women, however, thanks to ancillary channels (and piracy).

Bridget Jones's Baby, reuniting Renee Zellweger with Colin Firth and introducing Patrick Dempsey to the series, disappointed at the North American box office, taking just $24 million, compared with the $71.5 million earned by Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) and the $40.2 million from Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason (2004). But globally the third installment has been a smash hit, pulling in $212.8 million to date, the second-biggest total by a rom-com ever.

Through its slate financing deal with Universal, China's Perfect World Pictures is one of the film's backers, along with Miramax, StudioCanal and Working Title Films. The Chinese company has experience with the rom-com genre, having produced and released local hits like Love Is Not Blind (2011).