China film bureaucracy has gained a foothold once again with the delay of Derek Tsang’s new movie, Better Days, now extended to Well Go USA Entertainment’s domain in the states. The film’s overseas delay was initially reported on Monday following an official statement via Weibo.
“After considering the level of completion of ‘Better Days’ and our market pre-assessments, and following consultations between the production and distribution parties, the film will not be released on June 27.” says the Weibo account per Monday’s report at Variety. “A new release date will be announced at a later time.”
The news also marks the latest stumble for the beleagured coming-of-age drama which was pulled from the Berlin line-up at the last minute earlier this year. Other films have also suffered similar stagnant results in the festival circuit thanks principally to Chinese censors, included Zhang Yimou’s One Second, Guan Hu’s The Eight Hundred and Zu Feng’s Summer Of Changsha.
“Due to post-production issues and distribution concerns, the theatrical release of BETTER DAYS (in China) will be postponed.” said Well Go USA in a statement on Monday afternoon. “Unfortunately, because of China’s delay, the North American theatrical release for BETTER DAYS will also be postponed. We apologize for the inconvenience, but will be sure to keep everyone up to date on any new information with regards to its new release date.”
Well Go USA snagged the rights to Better Days back in May among the companies list of other prospective acquisitions during Cannes. Animal World actress Zhou Dongyu stars along with TF Boys member, actor Jackson Yee for a story adopted from Yuexi Jiu’s novel, telling of a troubled high school student and a young street thug who find comfort in each other in the wake of bullying, societal strain and haunting tragedy.
Usual practice for Well Go USA is to host theatrical releases simultaneously with certain China releases on their respective dates so as to combat piracy. Alas, the film’s delay in North America was to be expected. For what it’s worth, you can check out my review from Monday morning by clicking here, and stay tuned for official word as this news develops.