Jackie Chan's 'Chinese Zodiac' to Hit U.S. Screens by Summer 2013

Jackie Chan CZ12 - H 2012

The Hong Kong star’s action comedy, which topped opening-day box-office rankings across Asia, is slated for a wide release during the first or second quarter next year.

HONG KONG – Jackie Chan’s Chinese Zodiac will unspool in “a few hundred screens” in the U.S. upon its release in North America in either spring or summer next year, said Ramy Choi, director of distribution and acquisition of the Hong Kong actor’s company, Jackie & JJ International Limited.

The heist caper, revolving around a Chan-led team hunting down Chinese national treasures auctioned off to international speculators, will also be released in Europe at the same time, Choi said.

The film, which also stars Korean actor Kwon Sang-woo and young Chinese actors Zhang Lanxin and Liao Fan as the relic-hunters and Oliver Platt as a villainous tycoon, took its bow in Chinese-speaking territories and also major Southeast Asian markets on Dec. 20.

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Choi declined to reveal the identity of the film’s U.S. distributors, with whom she is finalizing details of a deal, but she confirmed partners for other markets include Splendid Film (Germany and Benelux), International Movies Distribution (Russia), Italia Film International SAL (Greece, Cyprus and the Middle East) and IFI Dagitim (Turkey).

Choi said Chinese Zodiac topped box-office listings on mainland China (where the film’s co-producers, Huayi Brothers, are distributing the film) on its opening day with earnings of 43.5 million yuan (US$7 million). She said the film’s first-day gross also topped charts in Singapore (handled by Clover Films and Golden Village), Malaysia (Golden Screen Cinemas) and Thailand (Sahamongkolfilm International).

The one territory which Chinese Zodiac failed to come out on top is Chan’s hometown: in Hong Kong, the film only secured HK$0.5 million (US$64,516), trailing behind both The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two (HK$2.2 million; US$283,870) and Wreck-it-Ralph (HKS1.7 million; US$219,355).