The family-friendly drama will be looking to generate the same positive word of mouth in China that has lifted it to an outsanding $103 million in North America.
Lionsgate’s sleeper hit Wonder has landed a theatrical release in China.
The family-friendly drama starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay is set to debut in the Middle Kingdom on Jan. 19. The local release will be handled by state distributor China Film Group, with TIK Films and Joy Pictures providing promotional support.
Directed by Stephen Chbosky, Wonder is an adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s acclaimed novel about a young boy with a facial deformity who attends a mainstream school for the first time.
After picking up a rare A+ CinemaScore, the film has earned an outstanding $103 million in North America and $29.3 million internationally (as of Wednesday). It has proved particularly popular with families and school groups. The film cost just $20 million to make.
The last time Lionsgate, Joy Pictures and TIK collaborated in China was on the release of La La Land in February. Boosted by its Oscar buzz, the film went on to total a healthy $36 million there. Chinese filmgoers have a longstanding penchant for tugs at the heartstrings and emotionally potent storytelling, so it will be interesting to see how Wonder is received.
The Jan. 19 local opening places Wonder head-to-head with Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, debuting the same day. Both will come out in the wake of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which descends on China on Jan. 5. Wonder and Jackie also will be among the last few Hollywood titles to open prior to the weeklong Chinese New Year festivities, kicking off Feb. 15, when regulators bar international imports from release.
Lionsgate’s production partners on the film are Participant Media, Walden Media, Mandeville Films and China’s TIK Films. TIK, the film arm of Chinese broadcasting giant Hunan TV, is a co-financier via its slate financing pact at Lionsgate.