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The surprising success of 'xXx' sequel in China offers marketing lessons for Hollywood

The surprising success of 'xXx' sequel in China offers marketing lessons for Hollywood

Paramount Pictures and its marketing partners wanted to make sure China’s young, digitally-inclined moviegoers were excited for the new action sequel “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.”

So the team made a music video for an original song by “xXx” star and Chinese heartthrob Kris Wu. The video, which featured Vin Diesel and clips from the film, scored more than 40 million views online. The stars also did live video chats on Chinese social media, and took selfies with followers from Weibo, a massively popular social media site.

The marketing paid off. The film opened last weekend at No. 1 in China with $61 million in its first three days, tripling its...

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