Hollywood’s summer release schedule in China is coming into focus.
Sony Photos’ Spider-Man: About the Spider-Verse and that of Paramount Transformers: Rise of the Beasts both have set release dates in the country, which remains a major potential source of revenue for American tentpole films.
About the Spider-Verse opens June 2, followed by Transformers 7 on June 9. Each movie will be released simultaneously in North America, which should help with marketing momentum.
Other major American films recently given the green light by Beijing’s film regulators are Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5), Universals Fast X (May 17) and Warner Bros.’ long awaited entry from DC superheroes, The flash (June 16).
Collectively, the tent poles will provide some valuable insight into the current health of China’s movie market for Hollywood movie products. Recently, American movies have stumbled into China while Japanese anime is on the rise. Disney/Marvels Ant Man 3 made just $39 million (compared to China totaling more than $100 million for each of its franchise predecessors) and The Super Mario Bros. movie has only brought in $20 million, a smaller-than-normal portion of its boffo $895 million worldwide. and Warner Bros’ Shazam! Anger of the gods made a scant $6 million, but that movie was a disappointment all around, only totaling $133 million worldwide.
Some analysts are beginning to speculate that the past few years of spiraling US-China diplomatic relations are beginning to take a significant toll on the popularity of US pop culture among Chinese consumers. By mid-June, Hollywood should have an answer to whether it should reassess the current earning potential of the world’s second-largest theater box office.