New instalments of three Chinese-language blockbusters in 2008 - Painted Skin, Ip Man and Pleasant Goat - will go into production later in 2009, according to backers of the three films.
Two investors in 2008 hit Painted Skin will reteam to produce the second film adapted from the 18th century book series by Pu Songlin Strange Tales Of Liaozhai, of which Painted Skin was the first. Painted Skin grossed $33.7m (RMB230m) in mainland China alone.
According to Michael Lai, manager of Eastern Mordor, which handled distribution on Painted Skin in China and internationally, Hong Kong-based Golden Sun Films and Chinese Ningxia Film Studio will together back the new film, which is budgeted at $20m and is being designed to appeal to markets beyond Asia.
Also confirmed backer is Beijing-based Huaying Oriental, a new film and TV entertainment firm. Several major Chinese distribution companies are also in talks with Golden Sun in joining the production, including state-owned China Film Group and Shanghai Film Group.
Another 2008 hit Ip Man will also have sequel shot this year, according to production company Mandarin Films. Donnie Yen and Lynn Xiong will again co-star the film which will start shooting in July, according to Raymond Wong, head of Mandarin Films. Ip Man made more than $14.62m (RMB100m) in China.
Meanwhile, Pleasant Goat And Big Bad Wolf, will also get a sequel, according to producer Shanghai Media Group (SMG). The animation film was made with less than $1m (RMB6m), but grossed more than $11m (RMB80m) in China during the Chinese New Year holidays. Shooting of the animation will start by the end of this year according to SMG.