LOS ANGELES -- China Lion Film Distribution is set to release the blockbuster movie Aftershock (Tangshan Dadizheng) across select AMC Theatres in North America on October 29th. The North American theatrical release comes after its success in China where the movie broke box office records becoming the highest grossing domestic film in China. Directed by acclaimed director Feng Xiaogang, the movie is based on the Tangshan earthquake of 1976 that killed more than 240,000 people in China.
Aftershock is the first North American movie release for China Lion Film Distribution that earlier announced an exclusive partnership with AMC Entertainment Inc., a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company, to introduce mainstream Chinese movies in the United States and Canada. This deal will see China Lion supply up to 15 films per year exclusively to AMC in the United States and to AMC in Toronto and Ottawa. Most films are expected to release the same date as in China.
Aftershock has grossed $100 million (USD) in China domestically, making it the biggest local film in Chinese box office history. China recently announced that the film will be its official selection for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Oscars leading to its increased popularity nationally and internationally. The movie release marked the 34th anniversary of the Tangshan earthquake.
Aftershock's director Feng Xiaogang has become the most successful commercial film director in China with movies like If You Are the One, the Chinese romantic comedy film that grossed $53.7 million in box office sales in 2008 and Assembly the Chinese war drama film that won the 2008 People's Hundred Flowers Award and the 2009 Golden Rooster Award, the two most prestigious film Awards in China, established by the China Film Association. Feng Xiaogang has been better known for directing romantic comedies but with the record breaking success of Aftershock the director has shown his mastery in directing drama movies that appeal to the Chinese audience globally.
Aftershock is adapted from Zhang Ling's novel by the same name and shows the story of a family torn apart by the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. When both her son and daughter are stuck beneath the same cement slab, the mother is forced to choose whom to save. Her agonizing decision shapes the fate of her family for 32 years to come. The movie stars Xu Fan, Zhang Jingchu, Li Chen, Lu Yi, Zhang Guoqiang, Zhang Zifeng and Zhang Jiazhun.
Aftershock will be released in 24 AMC Theatres across USA and Canada in regions with significant Chinese population including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, Seattle, Toronto and Ottawa. Release schedules are being finalized for the rest of 2010 and early 2011, with China Lion expected to announce significant acquisitions at this year's America Film Market, which opens November 3.
Commenting on the deal and Aftershock's release in the North American market, CEO Milt Barlow said, "We are delighted to partner with such a U.S. theatrical powerhouse as AMC. After a long absence, Chinese, Asian and European audiences will have access to the very best of Chinese theatrical releases in most cases screening the same day as in China." AMC President of Programming Robert J. Lenihan said, "We are excited to be the exclusive primary partner with Milt and his team at China Lion. For AMC this is another step in embracing ethnic programming in the United States."
Details on the Aftershock movie and complete theatre listings for USA and Canada are available on the movie website at www.chinalionentertainment.com/aftershock.