Every summer, China has what is known as the "July blackout" where they unofficially refuse to release any Western movies in China during the month of July. The Chinese market has become crucial to box office of various movies over the years, and if a movie fails to get a Chinese release date it can really hurt profits. If a big movie is released in July in the West but has to wait a significant amount of time to get a Chinese release, that can also hurt the worldwide box office.
It looks like a Western movie is going to be the exception this summer as Deadline reports that the Dwayne Johnson-led action movie Skyscraper has secured a July 20th release date in China. Johnson is a huge draw with Chinese movie goers, but the movie is backed by the Wanda-owned Legendary and takes place in Hong Kong, which likely helped with the decision to give the movie a July release date.
With China looking to become a moviemaking powerhouse in its own right, it's good that they're loosening their hold on the box office for movies with a worldwide appeal. The Chinese box office can get you far, but a movie with global appeal release around the same time will get you further.
Summary: FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he's been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building…above the fire line.
Skyscraper, directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, stars Dwayne Johnson, Pablo Schreiber, Neve Campbell, Kevin Rankin, and Roland Møller. It will be released on July 13th.