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Expendables 2 beats 'Dark Knight Rises', 'Spider-Man' in China


'Expendables 2' beats 'Dark Knight Rises,' 'Spider-Man' in China

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'Expendables 2' beats 'Dark Knight Rises,' 'Spider-Man' in China...

BEIJING -- China's battle of the superheroes ended up being won by ... a group of aging action stars.

In a surprising outcome, "The Expendables 2" has outgrossed both "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" in China.

The ensemble action movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li has grossed $54 million in China as of Sunday, according to research firm Artisan Gateway. "The Expendables 2" opened in the world's most populous nation Sept. 4.

"It's phenomenal what's happening in China with this movie," said Avi Lerner, whose Millennium Films made "The Expendables 2."

Millennium hoped to make the sequel with a Chinese partner, but the co-production deal fell apart at the last minute, Lerner said. The co-production rules treat such films as local productions, not foreign films. Such an arrangement would have given Millennium an even greater share of the film's Chinese revenues.

"The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider-Man," which Chinese authorities scheduled to open in a controversial head-to-head matchup one week earlier in China, have grossed $52.5 million and $48.5 million there, respectively.

China Film Group's decision to open the Spider-Man and Batman films on the same date was a move by the state-owned firm to limit the box office receipts of U.S. imports, which have far outpaced local productions in the first half of the year. Those were among the most popular pictures of the year in the U.S. and Canada. Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight Rises" has grossed $445 million domestically, while Sony Pictures' "The Amazing Spider-Man" has collected $262 million.

"The Expendables 2" has grossed a much more modest $84 million domestically. In China, it's the eighth-highest grossing film of the year, while "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" are No. 9 and No. 10, respectively. "Titanic 3-D" remains No. 1 with $146 million.

Artisan Gateway President Rance Pow said ticket sales for the two superhero films were limited because they opened against each other. Twentieth-Century Fox's science-fiction picture "Prometheus" opened a week later, on Sept. 2.

By contrast, no other big-budget American import opened against "The Expendables 2" on Sept. 4, and none have opened since. No others are scheduled until "The Bourne Legacy" on Oct. 25, as China appears to again be in the midst of an unofficial "blackout period," during which no American films are being imported.

Raymond Zhou, a film critic for China Daily and other publications, attributed the success of "The Expendables 2" to the popularity of ensemble casts, which are common in Chinese productions -- the ensemble includes Hong Kong action star Jet Li and Chinese actress Yu Nan -- and local audiences' enthusiasm for stars who are considered more over the hill in the United States.

“This is a perfect movie for Chinese audiences," he said. "Just like over-the-hill singers can find a market in Vegas, over-the-hill movie stars can find a market in China."

The original "Expendables" was a surprise success in China, grossing $32 million. However, producer Millennium was not able to secure one of the country's coveted quota slots for imported movies, which allow producers to share in box office revenue, but generally no more than 24% of a film's gross ticket sales. Instead, Millennium sold the first "Expendables" film outright to a local distributor for about $600,000.

This time, Lerner said, Millennium should take home about $10 million from China for "The Expendables 2," and he hopes the returns will be even better for a third "Expendables" film, which is now in the works.

"You have to remember," Lerner said, "once China likes something, they keep going."

Websites

The Expendables official website
www.expendablesthemovie.com

Sylvester Stallone official website
www.sylvesterstallone.com

Arnold Schwarzenegger official website
www.schwarzenegger.com

Millennium Films
www.millenniumfilms.com

Media Man Int
www.mediamanint.com

Media Man
www.mediaman.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

Mel Gibson may join Sylvester Stallone and crew in the third Expendables; Will Australian Hollywood movie star boost box office?

Australian Mel Gibson is being sought by Sylvester Stallone to join the cast of the third Expendables movie set to go into production in the coming weeks.

It was 'Mad Max' who put Gibson on the international movie business map back in 1979, but Gibson won't be playing the rebel Aussie policeman in the fourth instalment of Mad Max, 'Fury Road', which is being filmed in the Namib Desert, Namibia (where it is still very dry), unlike parts of the outer west of Sin City Sydney.

Gibson still has star power, even after well reported brushes with the law (see celebrity news website TMZ.com for details). Hollywood seems to have finally forgiven Mel. It's not like he actually killed someone. (Look up "Beresford Survivor producer" story on Google if you want to know why another Australian Hollywood type has gone really quite). Something about a missing wife in Mexico, but that's another story.

Anyway, Gibson is pretty cashed up, but gets on well with Stallone, and the two are said to be getting close to a deal. Hell, someone had to make up for 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin (WWE pro wrestling living legend or 'The Rock' Dwayne Johnson not being in the upcoming version of the post-apocalyptic outback Aussie themed franchise.

Gibson turned down the chance to direct Expendables, but is inching closer to inking a deal with Sly.

He's also understood to soon be featured in Machete Kills, staring Danny Trejo.

Storyline:

The third installment of the action-adventure franchise that follows the exploits of Barney Ross, Lee Christmas, and their associates.

Cast:

Jason Statham - Lee Christmas
Nicolas Cage
Sylvester Stallone - Barney Ross
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Trench (rumored)
Milla Jovovich
Mel Gibson (rumored)
Jackie Chan
Mickey Rourke - Tool
Jet Li
Yin Yang
Wesley Snipes
Dolph Lundgren
Gunnar Jensen (rumored)

 

News...

'Expendables 2' beats 'Dark Knight Rises,' 'Spider-Man' in China...

BEIJING -- China's battle of the superheroes ended up being won by ... a group of aging action stars.

In a surprising outcome, "The Expendables 2" has outgrossed both "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" in China.

The ensemble action movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li has grossed $54 million in China as of Sunday, according to research firm Artisan Gateway. "The Expendables 2" opened in the world's most populous nation Sept. 4.

"It's phenomenal what's happening in China with this movie," said Avi Lerner, whose Millennium Films made "The Expendables 2."

Millennium hoped to make the sequel with a Chinese partner, but the co-production deal fell apart at the last minute, Lerner said. The co-production rules treat such films as local productions, not foreign films. Such an arrangement would have given Millennium an even greater share of the film's Chinese revenues.

"The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider-Man," which Chinese authorities scheduled to open in a controversial head-to-head matchup one week earlier in China, have grossed $52.5 million and $48.5 million there, respectively.

China Film Group's decision to open the Spider-Man and Batman films on the same date was a move by the state-owned firm to limit the box office receipts of U.S. imports, which have far outpaced local productions in the first half of the year. Those were among the most popular pictures of the year in the U.S. and Canada. Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight Rises" has grossed $445 million domestically, while Sony Pictures' "The Amazing Spider-Man" has collected $262 million.

"The Expendables 2" has grossed a much more modest $84 million domestically. In China, it's the eighth-highest grossing film of the year, while "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" are No. 9 and No. 10, respectively. "Titanic 3-D" remains No. 1 with $146 million.

Artisan Gateway President Rance Pow said ticket sales for the two superhero films were limited because they opened against each other. Twentieth-Century Fox's science-fiction picture "Prometheus" opened a week later, on Sept. 2.

By contrast, no other big-budget American import opened against "The Expendables 2" on Sept. 4, and none have opened since. No others are scheduled until "The Bourne Legacy" on Oct. 25, as China appears to again be in the midst of an unofficial "blackout period," during which no American films are being imported.

Raymond Zhou, a film critic for China Daily and other publications, attributed the success of "The Expendables 2" to the popularity of ensemble casts, which are common in Chinese productions -- the ensemble includes Hong Kong action star Jet Li and Chinese actress Yu Nan -- and local audiences' enthusiasm for stars who are considered more over the hill in the United States.

“This is a perfect movie for Chinese audiences," he said. "Just like over-the-hill singers can find a market in Vegas, over-the-hill movie stars can find a market in China."

The original "Expendables" was a surprise success in China, grossing $32 million. However, producer Millennium was not able to secure one of the country's coveted quota slots for imported movies, which allow producers to share in box office revenue, but generally no more than 24% of a film's gross ticket sales. Instead, Millennium sold the first "Expendables" film outright to a local distributor for about $600,000.

This time, Lerner said, Millennium should take home about $10 million from China for "The Expendables 2," and he hopes the returns will be even better for a third "Expendables" film, which is now in the works.

"You have to remember," Lerner said, "once China likes something, they keep going."

Websites

The Expendables official website
www.expendablesthemovie.com

Sylvester Stallone official website
www.sylvesterstallone.com

Arnold Schwarzenegger official website
www.schwarzenegger.com

Millennium Films
www.millenniumfilms.com

Media Man Int
www.mediamanint.com

Media Man
www.mediaman.com.au