Imagi International Holdings, a leading producer of CG-animated feature films with studios in both Hong Kong and the U.S., today announced that it had secured mainland China co-production status for its film Astro Boy.
China’s Film Bureau, which acts as the gatekeeper for foreign films seeking distribution in China, has awarded Astro Boy co-production status. The Film Bureau typically “blacks out” release windows around major national holidays. These windows are reserved for domestic and co-produced films.
“Co-production status means ‘Astro Boy’ can be released on the mainland in October, something foreign films are not permitted to do,” said Chiong Kit Phoon, executive deputy chairman of Imagi. “Not only does co-production mean we get access to release windows not available to foreign films, we also receive a higher percentage of box office receipts.”
Astro Boy will be released in mainland China on October 23, the same date Imagi’s distribution partner, Summit Entertainment, is releasing the film internationally. “We are happy that audiences in China will be able to watch ‘Astro Boy’ at the same time as audiences around the world, especially since the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in October,” said Phoon.
Astro Boy was produced by Maryann Garger, directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away), and written by Timothy Harris (Kindergarten Cop, Trading Places) and Bowers. The CG-animated motion picture features the voices of Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland and Nicolas Cage as ‘Dr. Tenma’.