The Hunger Games was once barred from opening in China, but now Lionsgate has been given a countdown to when the games can commence in the hot international market.
The fact that the politically charged film is opening in China at all is a major coup for Lionsgate. China’s political climate and anti-authoritarian stance is not ideal for a film like The Hunger Games to play within. Somehow Lionsgate managed to get the green light and will play the film in both subtitled and dubbed versions.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will hit Chinese screens in early June. The Hunger Games is expected to screen through the first-half of June, though probably not any longer. Chinese officials will be watching the opening carefully and could potentially yank The Hunger Games from theaters if they determine events depicted in the film are too similar to current events in the country.
The China Film Group and Lionsgate partner Talent International will bring The Hunger Games to China and build upon the film’s $620 million worldwide gross and counting. China alone could easily push The Hunger Games past $700 million and upward of $750 million in total worldwide ticket sales.
This new revenue boost for Lionsgate and The Hunger Games comes just in time as The Avengers gobbles up cinema and IMAX screens here in the U.S. from now the fourth highest domestic opener of all-time.