November is shaping up to be a huge month for movie fans, as Western films will be flooding the cineplexes before December’s unofficial period devoted to Mainland blockbusters. Industry insiders Entgroup has announced the final slate of foreign films to be released in China this year, meeting the quota of 34 releases per year. While Hunger Games fans will be elated, Star Wars fans will be cursing last week’s release of Pan as Episode 7’s release is tentatively scheduled for early next year. Here’s the low down of the final seven foreign films to make it to China this year. As always, these things are subject to last-minute changes.
Nov 3: Everest
Based on Jon Krakauer’s (Into Thin Air) account of the tragic 1996 Mount Everest disaster, Everest follows the survival efforts of two expedition groups. While Krakauer has distanced himself from the film, Everest has received wide acclaim for its effects and has already grossed over USD176 million worldwide.
Nov 4: Maze Runner 2
The second installment in the teen dystopian sci-fi action series has already grossed over USD240 million, while winning praise for its action scenes. The film follows a rag tag group of young people battling the powerful W.C.K.D. Organization, while trying to survive a desolate landscape full of danger.
Nov 6: The Peanuts Movie
Charlie Brown, Snoopy and friends star in their first feature film in 35 years. The 3D-animated movie will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the comic strip and the 50th anniversary of the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas. Snoopy will take to the skies in his greatest mission yet, while Charlie Brown will embark on his own epic quest.
Nov 13: SPECTRE
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond while Christoph Waltz stars as the villainous Franz Oberhauser. Directed by Sam Mendes (Skyfall), the film explores the secret agent’s first encounter with the titular criminal agency. Entangled in a web of conspiracy, Bond embarks on a global journey to protect the innocent daughter of a powerful enemy.
Nov 20: The Hunger Games - Mockingjay, Part 2
After the past two films in the series faced delayed openings in China, the finale in the hit franchise scores a rare triple opening in the US, China and Japan. The titular Games are over as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leads a resistance to finally topple the fat cats in the capital.
Nov 25: The Martian
Matt Damon has been winning universal rave reviews for his role as an astronaut stranded on Mars and presumed dead. Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) directs this visual epic that has been getting early buzz as an Oscar contender for Best Film.
Dec 1: The SpongeBob Movie: SpongeBob Out of Water
Well, it took 11 years, but finally there’s a sequel to The SpongBob Squarepants Movie. Once again it’s a mix of 3D animation and live action. In this hit film, Burger-Beard the Pirate steals the Krabby Patty secret formula to create a magic book that allows anything written in it to become true. SpongeBob and friends must go above surface to retrieve the formula. It’s SpongeBob, it’s going to be good. Sponge Out of the Water has already made over USD312 worldwide.
Top 5 Foreign Films of 2015 (by gross)
1. Fast 7 (RMB2.427 billion)
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (RMB1.464 billion)
3. Jurassic World (RMB1.424 billion)
4. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (RMB869 million)
5. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (RMB766 million)
34 (possibly). Pan (RMB46 million) – Not even China can save this turd.