New 'Star Wars' film sets China release date

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the most-anticipated science fiction epic of 2015, confirmed its China release date on Tuesday with China's popular teen idol Lu Han as its promotional ambassador, Chinese distributors said.

The new installment from the famous franchise, directed by J. J. Abrams and starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow, will open in China on Jan. 9, 2016, less than one month after its American release on Dec.18, 2015.

Teen idol, actor and singer Lu Han, who holds the Guinness World Record for the "Most Comments on a Weibo Post" (more than 100 million comments on a sole microblog post) indicating his unstoppable popularity, joined the promotional team. He will star in a TV promotional ad and will dedicate a remix of his new song "The Inner Force" as well as its music video to the "Star Wars" publicity campaign in China.

Disney also held a special themed exhibition at Beijing's famous Sanlitun commercial area starting on Tuesday, which includes a big X-wing fighter model and merchandise store.

"The Force Awakens" is co-produced by Lucasfilm and Abrams' Bad Robot Productions and will be distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios. China Film Co.Ltd. and Huaxia Film Distribution will jointly distribute the film in China. Presales, which were more than US$50 million in North America, have broken many box office records and crashed numerous film ticketing sites.

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