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Adam Driver’s Sony Sci-Fi ’65’ Joins Hollywood’s Return to China’s Movie Screens



Adam Driver’s adventure sci-fi film 65 has joined a spate of upcoming Hollywood films in securing release dates in China. The film, which opens in North America on Friday, will unfold three weeks later in the massive China theatrical market on March 31.

The release of US movies in China slowed to a trickle last year amid the country’s harsh COVID Zero pandemic control policies and an uptick in nationalist sentiment surrounding high-profile Chinese Communist Party political events. But the regulatory tide began to turn late in 2022, starting with the release of James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water in December (it went on to earn $250 million locally). Since then, although Washington-Beijing diplomatic relations are at a nadir, the flow of US movie products into China has begun to resume a level of pre-pandemic normalcy. Following recent releases by Black Panther 2, Ant-Man 3 and Florian Zeller’s The Sonother upcoming imports on China’s calendar include M3gan (March 17); Shazam! 2 (March 17); A Man Called Otto (March 24); Dungeons & Dragons (March 31); Super Mario (April 5) and The Woman King (April 14).

So far, aside from Avatar 2Hollywood imports have been earning a fraction of their former China box office glories. Ant-Man 3which is beginning to wind down, had earned just $38 million as of Wednesday, compared to $105.4 million for the original Ant-Man in 2015 and $121.2 million for its sequel, Ant-Man and the Waspin 2018.

Sony’s 65which was co-financed by TSG and Bron, cost an estimated $45 million to make and will face fierce competition on Friday when it opens domestically against Paramount/Spyglass Media’s Scream VI. The film is co-written and co-directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. It follows Mills (Driver) as an astronaut who crash-lands on a mysterious planet, only to realize that he has become marooned on Earth 65 million years ago. With just a single opportunity for salvation, Mills and the sole other survivor, Koa, must traverse an uncharted landscape infested with dinosaurs and other dangerous prehistoric beasts in a struggle for survival.

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