Kung Fu Panda 3 Trailer

We have frequently written about the rise of the Chinese market in mass entertainment, but this weekend showcased additional evidence of just how much the times are changing. While Kung Fu Panda 3 did well enough in its opening weekend at the domestic box office, it was a gigantic hit in China. And now, AMC theaters is bringing a version of the film dubbed into Mandarin into North American theaters. Says AMC executive vice president and chief content officer Elizabeth Frank:

The audience for the Kung Fu Panda franchise is very broad and includes those whose first language may not be English. As an extension of our targeted programming, AMC is excited to provide our diverse audience with the opportunity to experience Kung Fu Panda 3 in their preferred format and language.

This is the first time a Mandarin-dubbed version of a Hollywood film will screen like this in the United States. The seven American theaters screening the Mandarin version of the film are located in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, and the Bay Area in Northern California, areas that have a large Chinese population.

They’ve been threatening Top Gun 2 for so long now that we’ve just assumed that it would eventually just fade away, especially after the passing of director Tony Scott. But uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer keeps on banging this drum and now he’s started sharing pictures of himself hanging out with Tom Cruise in New Orleans. The man means business. He will make Top Gun 2, damn it!

David Bowie in Labyrinth

And we’ll leave you with this very interesting piece of trivia. It has long been rumored that the late, great David Bowie auditioned for the role of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings, but now cast member Dominic Monaghan has confirmed it. He saw him with his own two eyes:

I was doing an audition for Lord of the Rings, and when it ended I went over and talked to John Hubbard, who was running the audition, and he said, ‘Hey, it went really well. You should wait around for 5 or 10 mins. We’ll give you some feedback. I thought, ‘Oh, OK, cool, and I sat in the reception office. As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. And I’m assuming he read for Gandalf. I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for. He may have read for something else, but I’m a huge David Bowie fan, so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.

He may have gotten the character wrong, but that’s still a pretty cool story. We understand why director Peter Jackson made his final decision (Bowie’s presence would have overwhelmed the story around him), but he would have been amazing in that role.

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