It’s no secret that Disney films and theme parks are a huge hit in foreign markets. Now Disney has taken the next step and is partnering with Taiwanese production company Wudi Pictures to co-develop live-action films that target the Chinese box office.
The relationship begins with the production of ‘Miss Taken,’ a romantic comedy starring Jelly Lin (The Mermaid) and Chen Bolin.
From the Hollywood Reporter…
Disney’s long-gestating local-language film production plans for China are beginning to take shape. Just last week, the studio struck a two-year deal with Beijing-based Jiaxing Media (aka Jay Walk Studios) to co-develop an undefined number of live-action films for China. Jiaxing’s romantic comedy Mr. Pride vs. Miss Prejudice is currently on release in China; it has earned just shy of $20 million to date.
Last week Disney held the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales at Shanghai Disneyland, the first time Hollywood has ever held a premiere in the Middle Kingdom.
Hollywood is relying more and more on Chinese moviegoers to recoup high production costs, with many films performing better overseas than they do in the United States. In fact, China is becoming the litmus test as to whether or not sequels will be made. A solid performance in the United States followed by a poor performance in China could end speculation as to whether or not a planned franchise gets a sequel. This was the case with the recent Power Rangers reboot, and the female-led Ghostbusters.
Hollywood’s attempts to woo Chinese audiences can be seen in recent big-budget films like Transformers: Age of Extinction, Independence Day: Resurgence and even Star Wars: Rogue One. These productions often take place in China or prominently feature Chinese actors in an attempt to bridge the cultural gap.
‘Miss Taken’ is in post-production and will be released in the second half of 2017.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]