‘Escape Room: Tournament of Champions’ set for cinema release in China
Columbia Pictures’ 2021 horror thriller “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” has received official approval to be released in mainland Chinese theaters. It will launch on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Directed by Adam Robitel, it’s the sequel to the psychological thriller “Escape Room” that terrified audiences around the world in 2019. In the new episode, six people find themselves unwittingly locked in another series of escape rooms, discovering slowly what they have in common to survive.
The film was released in many international markets and in North America in July last year. It earned $25.3 million on its domestic release in North America and an additional $30.5 million in international markets.
The first movie “Escape Room” was also released in China. It opened in January 2019 and made some $34 million.
China has become a tough hunting ground for Hollywood films over the past couple of years due to a multiplicity of factors. These include a reduced supply of titles during the COVID period, a Chinese box office bias toward patriotic films that dominate peak holiday periods, and political influences on decisions about which films can be imported.
The Chinese authorities have not authorized the import of the last five films from the Marvel stables of Disney or Sony. And, in recent months, state media has portrayed an explicit relationship between the state of political relations and the nationalities of films allowed to reach Chinese theaters.
The flow of American films to China has picked up lately. ‘Uncharted’ from Sony and Warner Bros.’ “The Batman” is currently out in China. Both are struggling and seem unlikely to make more than a fraction of the revenue that could have been made in pre-COVID times.
“Hotel Transylvania: Transformania” is set to be released on April 3. And “The Secrets of Dumbledore” is slated for April 8.
An additional handicap for films of all nationalities is the current wave of Omicron infections in China. This caused the lockdown of several major cities and the closure of a significant part of the country’s cinemas and other entertainment venues such as the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.