Disney is D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E to break Star Wars in China, where there’s a potential audience of two billion and American blockbusters are finally making big bank there.
Star Wars has always had a spotty record in the PRC. While Hong Kong got all of the films when they were first released, Eps IV-VI never got a formal release in China proper. The prequels did, but I think they were a little ahead of China’s economic boom that has created a large middle class. Most Chinese, if they knew anything about Star Wars, were likely introduced to the saga through bootleg video in a country where piracy of Western intellectual property is rampant and actually backed by the government. (Stay tuned for the Backstroke of the West 10th Anniversary Special!)
So ahead of TFA’s release, they are formally screening all six films next month at the Shanghai International Film Festival.