Chinese takes lead in Hollywood

Pop star Henry Lau is the rare Asian male to be cast as the romantic lead in A Dog's Journey. The first film was a hit in China

Canadian actor Henry Lau and Kathryn Prescott (both left) play two good friends who bond with a special canine in A Dog's Journey.
Canadian actor Henry Lau and Kathryn Prescott (both above) play two good friends who bond with a special canine in A Dog's Journey.PHOTO: UIP

Desperate to break into China, Hollywood studios are still struggling to crack the code on what Chinese audiences want.

But the 2017 movie A Dog's Purpose accidentally stumbled onto a winning formula. The weepy tale of beloved pet Bailey - who dies but is repeatedly reincarnated to help his human family - scooped up US$205 million (S$280.5 million) at the global box office, US$88 million of that in China compared with US$64 million in the United States.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2019, with the headline 'Chinese takes lead in Hollywood'. Subscribe