Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s highly anticipated The Matrix ResurrectionsChina has approved the film for release, but a date is still to be determined. Warner’s official Weibo account posted the news, saying the film “is confirmed to be introduced, and it will be released in theaters nationwide soon!”
The fourth MatrixThis installment, which is both a remake and a sequel, starts early offshore rollout December 16 and continues through the Christmas period. Domestic and major international markets will start December 22. Matrix 4 is currently the only Hollywood title thought to be on the China docket (although there is speculation that Sony’s Spider-Man, There’s No Way HomeChinese screens, too. If ResurrectionsIf the film can be made before 2021 ends, it will be a welcome addition to a year that has seen less Hollywood movies than is usual.
China has confounded of late, taking a pass on potential hits from Hollywood — notably Marvel movies, which traditionally have been catnip to local audiences — and recently accepted movies that were already greatly available elsewhere. For example, after two weekends, Disney’s Jungle CruiseDwayne Johnson is a major draw in the market where he has only made $5.6M. Because of the delay, piracy was a factor.
China certainly doesn’t “need” the money that big-ticket Hollywood titles are capable of generating — its homegrown tentpoles fare well. But, it does need Hollywood product to sustain it as the world’s largest film market after the pandemic ends.
The country’s Film Administration earlier this month outlined its 14th “Five-Year Plan”Chinese films will be developed with plans for increasing the number of cinema screens in China to 100,000 by 2025. The regulator will also promote 10 domestic tentpoles every year.
China has surpassed RMB43B ($6.7B) in box-office sales as of mid November, led by war titles The Battle at Lake ChangjinCurrently, it is at more than RMB 5.68B/$890M
The Matrix ResurrectionsLana Wachowski directs ‘The End of Time’ 20 years after the events that took place in The Matrix Revolutions. It finds Neo (Keanu Reeves) living a seemingly ordinary life as Thomas A Anderson in San Francisco, where his therapist prescribes him blue pills. He and Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss) don’t recognize each other. Subsequently, however, Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) offers him the red pill and reopens his mind to the world of the Matrix.