HOLLYWOOD’S reach is wide and its ambition broad, but selling China to the Chinese is bold even by the standards of America’s moviemaking behemoth. Yet the DreamWorks Animation studio has done it with the release of the animated sequel Kung Fu Panda 2. According to Chinese reports, the film, featuring the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and Lucy Liu, premiered earlier this month with the highest opening weekend box office in China of 125 million yuan ($17m).
To be screened in China is an achievement for any foreign film. A Chinese quota system allows only 20 foreign films to be screened there each year.
And yet Chinese authorities embraced Kung Fu Panda 2, says one of its stars, Liu, who has also recently shot a film outside Shanghai, The Man With the Iron Fists.
“The Chinese government embraced the movie itself, which is really helpful,” Liu says. “They may ban one from being shown because it shows negative things that they don’t want to explore in their own culture, so it’s nice they opened the film in China and it was successful there.