With the Chinese New Year promising a 40% boost in movie ticket sales in Singapore, the country’s first feature-length, 3D-animated film is set to debut this week, according to Daily Variety. Cubix Int’l's Chinese-language digital toon, Zodiac: The Race Begins, will bow on 10 screens in the small but influential island nation on Jan. 26.
Zodiac: The Race Begins has the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac racing to determine their order. The local animation industry is looking to the film to jumpstart efforts to make Singapore a major player in the worldwide CG animation arena. The pic has reportedly sold to 22 countries with hopes of cracking Western markets.
Last year, George Lucas established a LucasFilm Animation facility in Singapore to leverage emerging local talents for the production of a computer-animated Star Wars: Clone Wars series. Video game giant Electronic Arts has also set up a Singapore shop, which will focus on tailoring popular EA titles for Asian markets.
Zodiac will get a video game of its own via Honor Games International, while other marketing and licensing deals have been struck with soft drink maker Yeo Hup Seng and the Singapore Mint.