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August 7, 2009

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McDull on way to becoming big brand

CHINESE animated film "McDull Kung Fu Ding Ding Dong," the fourth in the series, is doing well at the box office and is helping turn the pink piglet into a huge brand.

"The movie screening is just part of our aim to build McDull into a competitive domestic cartoon brand," said Wang Lei, producer of the film. "We will develop the film's merchandise such as books and DVDs."

A McDull flagship store is expected to open in Shanghai later this year.

A McDull-themed concert, a popular event in Hong Kong for years, will be staged in town around Christmas. The movie will also be adapted into a children's drama and its musical-styled sequel will be presented in two years.

Since its opening on July 24, the McDull film has grossed over 63 million yuan (US$9.2 million) nationally.

Golden summer

"The movie has the potential to exceed what 'Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf' achieved during the Spring Festival (90 million yuan nationally)," said Wu Hehu, deputy director of the city's largest cinema chain, Shanghai United Cinema Lines. "It is expected to become the highest grossing domestic animated film."

It is the first time filmmakers from the mainland and Hong Kong have collaborated on it. The movie centers on the adventures of pink piglet McDull studying kung fu.

Industry insiders attributed the movie's success to the summer vacation, the film's humor and heartwarming family friendly elements.

Fourteen movies will be squeezed into August's golden summer vacation screening period, including Hollywood sci-fi film "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra," which comes out today, Zhang Ziyi's comedy romance "Sophie's Revenge" (August 14), and "Metallic Attraction: Kungfu Cyborg," a Chinese take on "Transformers" (August 20).


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