China gets Point Break reboot 3 weeks early, signals box office global shift

point break movie release
Warner Bros Pictures
American moviegoers will have to wait until Christmas Day for the stunt-heavy fun of Point Break, but their Chinese counterparts won’t have to suffer the same fate. The remake is set to open in China three weeks ahead of its U.S. theatrical debut, the furthest in advance a major Hollywood-backed film has ever been released, reports THR.

While other films have opened in China ahead of the U.S., the delay is typically much shorter. As THR points out, Iron Man 3, for example, came out in the U.S. just two days after it hit Chinese theaters. The early release in China serves as yet another indicator of the increasing importance of the Chinese box office.

It’s safe to say that China has firmly established itself as a box office power. In 2014, China’s box office revenue reached $4.9 billion, nearly three times what it had been in 2010, according to ABC News. Furthermore, Box Office Mojo data shows that 17 movies this year have grossed over $100 million in the country (at the time of publishing). Leading the list is Furious 7, which raked in $390.91 million in China compared to about $352.79 million stateside.

In early November, The Guardian reported that China is expected to dethrone North America as the global movie marked leader in 2017. Of course, the movie industry is well aware of this trend and is strategizing accordingly. The release date for Point Break, for example, gives it what THR describes as “a relatively uncontested run at Chinese cinemas” for the first two weeks after it opens. After December 18, predicted heavyweight The Ghouls will give Point Break a run for its money.

The movie is also being billed as the first Hollywood film to have its world premiere in China, according to ABC News. At the massive event — complete with stunts — in Beijing on Tuesday, one of Point Break‘s stars, Luke Bracey, predicted that more premieres in the country would follow. He should be right, given the fast growth and impressive numbers China has been pulling in.

Point Break is a remake of the 1991 Kathryn Bigelow film starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty, and Gary Busey. With its new stars — Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Teresa Palmer, and Ray Winstone — the movie will once again follow FBI agent Johnny Utah (Bracey) as he goes undercover and joins a team of elite athletes suspected of committing crimes through unusual means, this time with added motorcycle chases, wingsuit flying, and more. Bracey recently told ABC News that the film will outdo the original because it incorporates extreme sports that weren’t around when the surfer-themed original film was released.

The action thriller, which was budgeted for $120 million, comes from director Ericson Core, the cinemetographer behind The Fast and the Furious. The screenplay was written by Kurt Wimmer (Total Recall). Alcon Entertainment and China’s DMG Entertainment produced.

Point Break is due out in China on December 3 and in the U.S. on December 25.

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