Monday, April 15, 2024

“Independence Day: Resurgence” A Bust in the US, Studio Pins Hopes to China with Chinese Actors


“Independence Day: Resurgence” is a bust in the US with a $16 million Friday opening and a predicted $40 mil weekend. It’s a $200 million movie, so that ain’t good.

But 21st Century Fox has hedged its bet. “IDR” opens in China this weekend, too. And even though China has no civil rights and dog meat eating festivals, it’s now the place where the big studios pin their hopes for making some dough on bad films.

To ensure that “IDR” will do well– even without Will Smith– the studio and the filmmakers were clever enough to feature several Asian and Chinese actors. A young actress who goes by Angelababy– her real name is Angela Wing– plays Rain, one of the movie’s stolid ingenues. Chin Han plays Commander Jiang. Ron Yuan, Grace Huang, Ben Wang, and Stephen Oyoung are also featured. There are extras too. Their presence will no doubt be played up as “IDR” opens in China and elsewhere in Asia. It’s a smart movie financially, and inadvertently helps play a part in diverse casting. Everybody wins!

If only “IDR” had a script and other actors who were memorable, the movie might have been a hit in the U.S.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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