Cannes: CMC Takes China's 'The Last Wish,' 'White Storm 2' for North America (Exclusive)
The company is beginning to generate substantial box office revenue from Chinese films in North America, such as the $5.9 million performance of 'The Wandering Earth' in February.
CMC Pictures, the international film distributor controlled by Li Ruigang’s China Media Capital Holdings, has acquired North American theatrical rights to two upcoming Chinese-language tentpoles, comedy drama The Last Wish and Hong Kong crime sequel White Storm 2 – Drug Lords.
CMC's distribution business for Chinese titles in North America has steadily grown since the company entered the sector about two years ago. The company gave Chinese sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth a nationwide rollout in February, earning $5.9 million.
The Last Wish is the latest project from Chinese director Tian Yusheng, best known as the creator and director of the hit breakup comedy series The Ex-Files, whose films have collectively earned more than $400 million.
A teenage comedy drama, The Last Wish follows Liu Xuan (played by Peng Yuchang), a high-school boy who is diagnosed with a fatal disease. His two best friends (played by Wang Dalu and Wei Daxun) then decide to help him realize his last wish — to "become a man" by losing his virginity. Hijinks and learning experiences ensue.
White Storm 2 – Drug Lords is produced by Hong Kong's Universe Entertainment. The film is a very loose sequel to The White Storm, which earned $45 million in mainland China in 2013. The new film is directed by veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Herman Yau and stars local leading men Andy Lau and Louis Koo.
The sequel follows a former triad member-turned-financial tycoon (Lau), who offers a $100 million bounty to eliminate the number one drug dealer in Hong Kong (Koo), who has recently upped his business by collaborating with Mexican drug lords. The bounty sets off a frenzy and a psychological struggle between good and evil.
CMC Pictures plans a multi-city release for The White Storm 2 starting July 12, followed by a similar run for The Last Wish on Aug. 12.