Alibaba Pictures unveiled a slate of seven tentpole films in Shanghai

Leading Chinese film studio Alibaba Pictures has announced a slate of seven tentpole films that it hopes will revitalize China’s box office.

Topics such as martial arts, drama, history, science fiction and comedy are presented as the first elements of the institute’s second five-year plan.

They were unveiled at a major event at the ongoing Shanghai International Film Festival on Monday and were attended by a host of relevant producers, directors and stars.

Alibaba Pictures President Li Jie said, „At a time when the movie market needs vigor, tentpole products are needed to keep it going. In the notes provided, China’s mainland box office recovered to 85% of its pre-pandemic level last year, and so far in 2024, the Chinese box office will be the world’s largest. The company also pointed out.

However, recently there have been concerns that the fortunes of the film industry may decline. In fact, the 2024 box office has declined in recent weeks and is now 3% below 2023. Alibaba said moviegoers and attendance figures have stagnated. „How to ensure the continued prosperity of the film industry and go from plateau to peak?” Li asked. His answer was to deliver more Chinese blockbusters.

Alibaba Pictures has operations involved in film investment, production, distribution and marketing, and has taken various positions in the past, including lead promoter, joint distributor, co-producer, domestic producer and licensor.

The first of seven to reach theaters, a fantasy directed by Wuorshan („Creation of the Gods”) has an English-language title of „I’m Nobody” and a Chinese title of „Under the Alien.” A webcomic of the same name. Alibaba called it a „supernatural world that boldly explores integration tradition and the present day.” Releasing on July 26, the film stars leading young actors including Hu Xiangxu, Li Wanton, Feng Shofeng, Narana Erdineeva, Lan Xia and Nashi.

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Xu Zheng’s film “Upstream” is set to hit theaters on August 9, focusing on the food supply environment. Xu plays Cao Jile, the protagonist who has to make ends meet by making deliveries while out of work overnight. Xu is the director and lead actor. Other main cast members include Xin Zhilei, Wang Xiao and Jia Bing. Other recently released documents show Alibaba’s position in „upstream” as a co-producer, lead advertiser and distributor.

With a Chinese title that translates to „Burning City” and an official English-language title of „Fallout,” Hong Kong’s Edco Films is producing Alibaba Bill, China’s first nuclear radiation disaster movie. Directed by Anthony Boon and starring Andy Lau and Karen Mok, the film is expected to wrap up by the end of this year.

The other four films are in early stages of production.

Directed by „Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” action choreographer Yuen Wu-ping, „Blade of the Guardians” will begin shooting in July with a cast led by Wu Jing („Wolf Warriors”) and Nicholas Tse. It’s a comic book adaptation and Alibaba described it as „a heroic martial arts movie that Chinese audiences have never seen before.” Related documents show that Alibaba’s roles are „self-producer, co-producer, lead promoter and distributor”.

Guan Hu, who was in Cannes with „Black Dog” and appeared in competition in Shanghai with „A Man and a Woman,” is set to direct „Tongji Island,” a story about the sinking of the naval ship Lisbon Maru. During World War II. A documentary about the same shipwreck aired in Shanghai this week, but Guan’s film is expected to be told from the perspective of the fishermen who rushed to the rescue. It is said that the actors will be involved in diving training as the shooting will take place by the end of this year. Alibaba Pictures is listed as the „main producer”.

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„The Decisive Moment” is a sci-fi odyssey about a group of astronauts stranded in space. The film is directed by Zhang Tisha and produced by Huang Jianxin, starring Huang Bo, Gao Ye and Leo Wu. (The film’s Chinese title translates to „When the Stars Shine”)

Lead director Feng Xiaogang’s new project “I Know Who You Are” is in the production design stage. Based on the novel of the same name, it begins in 1949 and spans more than 40 years, a catch-me-your-own story involving a communist policeman and a foreign spy. Hu Ge and Lei Jiayin are set to play the lead roles and will begin production on November 1st.

„Chinese blockbusters should take quality, industrialization and mass production as their three main characteristics. Their aim is to reflect four main themes: personal destiny; feelings for family and country; humanistic care; and resonance with the times,” the company said in a statement.

The seven films “trace the long-term development of Chinese culture [..] And care about the happiness, sorrow, anger and joy of every person living and living in Chinese territory,” it said.

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