A Dog’s Purpose, which follows the many deaths and reincarnations of a dog voiced by Josh Gad, did not make a big impact in the U.S. Here, it earned $64 million, a respectable number considering the furor over alleged animal abuse on set, but nothing remarkable. In China, however, A Dog’s Purpose made a whopping $88 million, thanks to, as The Wall Street Journal reports, a dedicated marketing effort targeting middle-class Chinese pet owners from the studio Alibaba, a minority investor in the film. Now, Amblin, which produced the film, is working on a sequel, which according to its CEO Michael Wright, will keep Chinese audiences in mind. It’s an odd future for a film so imbued with Americana, but success in China has propelled other American films into franchises, such as the Now You See Me films. Question is: What does the China-focused Dog’s Purpose sequel look like? Do they turn the book’s sequel A Dog’s Journey into A Dog’s Journey: To China? Do they bring back Dennis Quaid? Or are Chinese audiences more into K.J. Apa? How many more times will a Josh Gad dog have to die onscreen for capitalism to be satisfied?
China’s theatergoing middle class loves Dennis Quaid.