China’s Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group Join Paramount on ‘XXX: Return of Xander Cage’

High-octane thriller stars Vin Diesel and Chinese A-listers Donnie Yen and Kris Wu

Vin Diesel‘s long-awaited sequel, “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” recently landed a China release date, and on Tuesday, the studio enlisted two local partners to help make it a big hit in the Middle Kingdom — and beyond.

Paramount Pictures has brought on a joint venture between China’s Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group as investors and China marketing partners on “xXx,” which it produced with Revolution Studios. The relationship isn’t a new one: Huahua and Shanghai have also invested in Paramount’s “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” and Huahua has also been a partner in other Paramount titles including “Star Trek Beyond” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the first Hollywood film to break $300 million at the Chinese box office.

The latest “xXx” film seems positioned to do well in China, as it stars Vin Diesel from the mega-popular “Fast and Furious” — “Furious 7” is currently the all-time highest grossing foreign film in China with $391 million — as well as Samuel L. Jackson, Deepika Padukone, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev and Chinese stars Donnie Yen and Kris Wu.

“We are pleased to collaborate once again with Huahua Media and the Shanghai Film Group,” Megan Colligan, Paramount Pictures’ president of worldwide distribution and marketing, said in a statement. “‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ is a film that delivers incredible action and great entertainment and we anticipate a strong showing for the film in China, where our stars Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Kris Wu and Nina Dobrev have such dedicated fan bases.”

“Huahua’s co-investment in ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ marks the second time our company has had the opportunity to partner with Shanghai Film Group as a financer and marketing provider for a Paramount title,” Huahua CEO Kefei Wang said in the statement. “We are poised to launch a multi-market campaign to drive a lucrative opening for the popular film series in China.”

 “America is a developed market and the Chinese market is still developing,” Ren Zhonglun, president of Shanghai Film Group, said in the statement. “If there’s a company or an alliance of companies that can connect the two, such as Paramount Pictures and Huahua Media, it creates a significant collaboration that benefits both markets. This is why we’ve been communicating with American companies and keeping a close relationship with the executives of those companies.”

The film was produced Vin Diesel, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Joe Roth and Samantha Vincent, written by F. Scott Frazier, Chad St. John and Rich Wilkes, and directed by D.J. Caruso.

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