A poster of "Yugo & Lala" [China.org.cn]
"Yugo & Lala," directed by Wang Yunfei for the ITS CARTOON Animation Studio, hit Chinese cinema on August 10. Its release coincided with the release of animations "The Adventures of Jinbao," "Save the 365th Day (3D)," and live action/animation "I Love Wolffy" a cinematic sequel to China's hottest cartoon series "Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf". Meanwhile, imported animated blockbuster "Ice Age: Continental Drift" and "The Lorax" are still showing.
China's summer holiday film season has been dominated by animated films, and the industry is now bracing itself for the late August heavyweight clash between Hollywood giants Batman and Spider-Man, which has triggered a wave of rescheduling among film production companies.
Explaining the scheduling of the film, Wang said: "We first set the release date on August 10, but they later all decided to release their films on the same day. As all of our releases are original Chinese cartoons, so we are all competitors. We need, and welcome, fair competition. Many friends have asked us to retreat, but we chose to stand firm."
He continued:"The summer film season is definitely boom time for animations, and this is true in any country with a healthy animation industry, it's a good sign. But there also must be a cruel sacrifice. I'm looking forward to it, and will participate in it. In any battle, there are two outcomes: Win or lose. But before 'Yugo & Lala' hit screens I told my colleague that we must be ready for any outcome, and we must be clear about whether and why we win or lose.
So far, it appears that the outcome has been positive for Wang and his team. According to his statistics, his film made 9.7 million yuan (US$1.52 million) at box offices in only 3 days and purely through 2D screenings. Cinemas were packed with parents and kids alike, which caused cinema managers to rapidly add extra screening times due to the film's unexpected popularity.