According to Variety, China’s blockbluster hit Monster Hunt, which had a $380 million domestic gross in 2015 (a close rival to China’s top dog Furious 7), will be getting a North American release on January 22nd.
The hybrid live action/CGI film is based on a story by Alan Yuen and directed by Raman Hui, one of the key creators of the Shrek franchise. The voice cast includes Bai Baihe, Jiang Wu, Eric Tsang, Elaine Jin, Tang Wei and Sandra Ng.
The story follows baby monster Huba, the child of a monster queen, who is threatened by monster-hating humans as well as by monsters who want to capture the newborn. A human couple strives to protect the royal child from harm. The film is set in an ancient fantasy kingdom based on medieval China.
Hong-Kong based Edko films produced the film, which was made on a $50 million budget. New York-based FilmRise is teaming with Los Angeles-based Asia Releasing to handle the distribution in North America. The companies are releasing both the original Chinese version, as well as a new English dubbed version. “We have carefully edited the English language version to be the equivalent of a PG rating, and we believe North American kids and their parents will embrace the film in the same way as Chinese audiences have,” said Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise. Milt Barlow, founder and CEO of Asia Releasing, stated “Chinese audiences in North America will for the first time be able to see this film on the big screen in 3D in its original language.”
Time will tell if the China blockbuster translates well to North American audiences.