Value of Chinese Audience Emerges Again as Sony Remakes 2 Russian Comedies for China Release

| May 17, 2017 02:02 AM EDT

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Sony Pictures Entertainment would remake “8 First Dates” and “8 New Dates.” These are two Russian comedy movies being adapted into the Chinese language for the Chinese film market.

It is a confirmation that like Hollywood which considers the Chinese audience when producing movies, Russia is moving in a similar direction after its fellow communist state emerged in 2016 as the second-largest film market in the world. The two Russian films will become the second Russian movies adapted for the Chinese marker by a major Hollywood studio, The Hollywood Reporter noted.

Another Adaptation

In March, Yellow, Black and White, a Russian company, and Ulan Culture Media, a Chinese firm, signed an agreement. The deal was to adapt “How I Became a Russian (Kak ya stal russkim) for the Chinese movie market.

However, as early as late 2016, Russia recognized the potential of the Chinese market when it co-produced with China the film “Viy 2.” The film, which stars Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, hits two birds with one stone because the casting of the two actors makes the movie reach out to Chinese and American moviegoers.

In mid-2016, a Russian movie about an alien invasion of Earth, “Attraction” was sold by Art Pictures Studio of Russia to H.G.C. Entertainment of China at the Cannes film market. The sci-fi film would be released in China in 2017.

Russia Recognizes China is 2nd-Largest Film Market

Yaketerina Gorodetskaya, producer of “8 First Dates” and the sequel “8 New Dates,” said "China is currently one of the world's biggest film markets, and we are glad that Chinese audience will soon see adaptations of our films, produced by a Hollywood major." The original film is about the relationship between a tennis player and a TV star. It was released in Russia in 2012, while the sequel come out in 2015.

China is also a pilot test ground for future international adaptations of Russian movies, Marius Vaisberg, Sony producer, said. Among the market for future adaptations that the company is looking at if the China venture would succeed is the U.S.

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