Hollywood pet stars hired for Chinese anthology love film

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, December 25, 2019
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Cast members of "Adoring" pose for photos at the premiere of the film in Beijing, Dec. 22, 2019. [Photo courtesy of Dark Horse Marketing]

Hollywood pet stars will have a key role in the box office success of much-anticipated Chinese anthology film "Adoring."

They include several known for their roles in Hollywood films, such as Luther, the dog from "Pup Star," the dog Que from "Show Dogs" and the dog Benny from "Dog Days." However, the most famous one is Gonzo, the orange-colored cat star from the Disney/Marvel Studios superhero blockbuster "Captain Marvel."

Veteran Hollywood animal trainers were hired to ensure the animal superstars put on their best performance in "Adoring."

A pet star poster of "Adoring" shows Gonzo, the orange-colored cat who starred in the Disney/Marvel Studios superhero flick "Captain Marvel."  [Photo courtesy of Dark Horse Marketing]

However, it's not going to be all Hollywood. Another terrific future star of the animal world is a local piggy named Bell, selected by the film crew from nearly a thousand piglet hopefuls. It had accepted the training very well and reportedly has turned in a stellar performance in filming.

"Adoring" could be China's last blockbuster of 2019 as it will hit Chinese theaters on the last day of the year – Dec. 31. Presold tickets so far have been worth more than 10 million yuan ($1.42 million), and the film is being anticipated by nearly 1 million moviegoers on Taopiaopiao ticketing platform.

The film is a Chinese anthology film directed by Yang Zi and produced by renowned Chinese director-actor-producer Xu Zheng. It consists of six stories depicting various forms of love, as well as companionship, family and loneliness. In every story, there is a key pet to interact with humans and inspire the human characters to find and learn more about love.

An official poster of "Adoring" with all the cast and pet stars [Image courtesy of Dark Horse Marketing]

At the premiere of the film held in Beijing last Sunday, Xu Zheng described the film as having healing, touching, tear-jerking and heartwarming qualities, while director Yang hoped the audience could grasp the feeling of "adoring" and "being adored" to enter the year 2020 in a holiday atmosphere. The film also features Chinese movie stars such as William Chan, Elane Zhong, Yu Hewei, Zhang Zifeng, Leo Wu, Yang Zishan, Wallace Chung, Guo Qilin and Li Landi.

Chinese audiences, many of whom are pet owners, have shown enthusiasm for pet movies. The peak was "A Dog's Purpose" by Lasse Hallström, which raked in 606 million yuan in China in 2017 with marketing help by Alibaba Pictures. A sequel to the film debuted in China this year and grossed nearly 200 million yuan. Chinese filmmakers also made their own pet films, such as Wing-Cheong Law's "Little Q" about a guide dog, which grossed 111 million yuan in September this year.

According to a Xinhua report dated on Dec. 11, China's urban residents are estimated to have spent a total of 202.4 billion yuan on their pet cats and dogs in 2019, up 18.5% year-on-year, based on research jointly undertaken by Goumin.com and Pet Fair Asia. The number of pet dogs and cats kept by urban residents is projected to reach nearly 100 million, an 8.4% increase from a year ago.

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