Chinese Blockbuster ‘Monster Hunt’ to Attack US Theaters After FilmRise Acquisition

The live-action/CGI hybrid, which has grossed $370 million in China, will be released early next year in North America

FilmRise has acquired exclusive North American rights to the record-breaking Chinese blockbuster, “Monster Hunt,” the film and TV distributor said Thursday.

The latest effort from Edko Films and “Shrek” animator Raman Hui, the live-action-CGI “Monster Hunt” tells the story of a mythical, ancient world, where monsters rule the land. Since its release on July 16, it has grossed more than $370 million. It is the highest-grossing Chinese film ever and is on track to surpass “Furious 7” as the highest-grossing movie of all time in China.

“Monster Hunt” will be released in early 2016, Brooklyn-based film FilmRise said.

Combining CGI animation and visual effects with live-action sequences and martial arts action, the film is the latest from DreamWorks and Hui, who is regarded as an instrumental creative force behind the “Shrek” series. A supervising animator on the first two films of the franchise, Hui co-directed “Shrek The Third,” which still holds the record for biggest animated opening weekend in the U.S.

“We are beyond thrilled to be bringing ‘Monster Hunt’ to a whole new audience here in North America, after the film broke records and charmed millions of theater-goers in Asia,” said Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise.

“With its spellbinding CGI and remarkable action sequences, the film provides plenty of entertainment for kids and adults alike. Furthermore, we are confident that this is the first of many great partnerships between FilmRise and Edko Films.”

The deal — which encompasses all North American rights — was negotiated by Max Einhorn, vice-president of acquisitions at FilmRise, and Julian Chiu, senior manager of international sales and distribution at Edko Films.