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‘Wish Dragon’ Opens with $7.15 Million at China Box Office

The Sony Pictures Animation animated adventure, set to premiere later this year on Netflix, is Chinese studio Base Animation’s first original feature; movie tells the story of a working-class student and a cynical dragon in pursuit of a long-lost friend.

Wish Dragon, the first original feature developed and animated by China’s Base Animation, took in US$7.15 million at the Chinese box office in its debut weekend. The film, co-financed by Sony Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Sparkle Roll Media, Base Media, and TenCent Pictures, hit Chinese theatres nationwide on January 15th, 2021, right as the country’s schools let out for the winter break.

Written and directed by Chris Appelhans and starring Jackie Chan, the film tells the story of Din, a working-class college student with big dreams but small means, and Long (Jackie Chan), a cynical but all-powerful dragon capable of granting wishes.  Together, the two set off on an adventure through modern day Shanghai in pursuit of Din’s long-lost childhood friend, Lina. Their journey forces them to answer some of life's biggest questions – because when you can wish for anything, you must decide what really matters.

Aron Warner, Chris Bremble, and Chan serve as producers. In addition to Chan, the voice cast includes John Cho, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jimmy Wong, Constance Wu, Will Yun Lee, Jimmy O’Yang, Aaron Yoo, Bobby Lee, and Ronnie Chieng.

Way back in 2016, AWN talked with Appelhans about his new film, which at the time, marked the first foray into animated features by Bremble’s Chinese VFX studio, Base FX. In 2018, Jackie Chan and Constance Wu joined the English voice cast, with Sony Pictures Animation later coming on board for international distribution. SPA announced their involvement with the film during their 2019 Annecy festival production slate reveal.

Base Animation, along with Base FX, are part of Base Media; Bremble, the company’s founder, grew his original VFX business into one of China’s leading visual effects studios before branching out into original animated feature film production with Base Animation.  The company has offices in Mainland China (Beijing, Xiamen, and Wuxi), Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Los Angeles. In January 2020, Base Media entered into a strategic partnership with Sunac Culture Group, a media conglomerate based in China.

Wish Dragon will be released on Netflix internationally later this year.

Source: Base Media

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.