* note: Due to the everchanging nature of the Chinese cinema industry, movie release dates may be rescheduled. THIS ARTICLE UPDATES. Check the bottom of the article for the update log.
Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is the biggest movie event in the Chinese cinema calendar. Studios use this opportunity to release their biggest movies, when the audience is at its potential maximum. Last year's Spring Festival movie line-up ended up being cancelled due to COVID, with some movies (Vanguard, Leap and Jiang Ziya) ending up being released during the National Day week in October and another movie (Lost In Russia) ending up premiering on webstreaming. The remaining three movies from 2020 Spring Festival will be released in 2021.
In 2021, Chinese New Year falls on February 12 and will be the year of the Ox. This is the date the following movies will be released
Detective Chinatown 3
One of the movies that was supposed to be released back in 2020, was this highly-anticipated sequel. Baoqiang Wang and Liu Haoran return as Tang Ren and Qin Feng, the two brilliant "detectives" who solve cases using the Crimaster app, competing with other "detectives" worldwide. They've solved cases in Bangkok and America, and part 3 sees our duo heading to Japan to solve a case involving the Yakuza! A collection of actors from previous Detective Chinatown movies (Zhang Zifeng and Yang Xiao) return for this movie playing in different roles, while one of Japan hottest actresses, Masami Nagasawa, also stars in this movie alongside a long list of Japanese favourites. Oh, and an added surprise - Tony Jaa joins the cast as well! Considering the popularity of the second movie, this should be the Number 1 film for the 2021 Spring Festival
Assassin In Red
Second biggest movie announcement/release for Chinese New Year 2021 is this action fantasy movie about a writer who can make things come true and the people who want to stop him. Enter Jiayin Lei as the man whose job it is to assassinate the writer to get his daughter back. This one looks pretty awesome. Sorry, no English subtitles on this one.
The Yin Yang Master
The second movie based on the popular "Onmyoji" IP of online video games, this is the more "serious" version of the two (and with the official licence). This has some terrific looking effects and should be a great film!
If there was anyone, other than Jackie Chan, who would could drag a massive crowd to the cinema, it would be Andy Lau. Endgame was originally set to release mid-2020, but now this interesting looking body-swapping crime comedy could find a better home during the Spring Festival. Also starring Xiao Yang (Detective Chinatown 3), this one of three Andy Lau movies set to come out in the next few months, including the musical drama Find Your Voice and the action blockbuster Shock Wave 2, which is set for a December 24 release
Shen Teng returns in this comedy film set in a factory about a man whose job it is to entertain the employees. Shen Teng has been a few movies lately, but usually in small cameo roles (My People My Homeland, Lost In Russia), so its great to see him in the starring role. Let's hope this movie is more like Pegasus and less like Crazy Alien!
New Gods: Nezha Reborn
As is standard for these big movie seasons, there is also a local animation set for release. New Gods: Nezha Reborn is aimed at the older teen audience, with its anime and cyberpunk feeling. Note that this is not a sequel or related to Nezha Birth of the Demon Child, the 2019 massive smash hit.
The Boonie Bears: The Wild Life
Another leftover from 2020 Chinese New Year, and another animation. This is yet another sequel in the long running Boonie Bears series. Due to Fantavision not wanting anyone to see this movie, the trailer is blocked on YouTube. Strange way to promote a video, but what can we do? If you are keen to see what this looks like, here is the trailer on Chinese website Pipi.
2/2/2021: Added The Yin Yang Master
8/12/2020: Removed The Rescue - new release date December 18 2020
9/11/2020b: Added Assassin In Red
9/11/2020a: Added The Boonie Bears: The Wild Life
7/11/2020: Created with 5 movies titles: Detective Chinatown 3, The Rescue, Endgame, Hi Mom, New Gods Nezha Reborn (Feb 26 pending)