hollywood self-censorship

A new report from the nonprofit PEN America slammed Hollywood studios and A-list directors for increasingly self-censoring its films “based on an effort to avoid antagonizing Chinese officials.” The report digs into the troubling signs that Hollywood self-censorship is become increasingly “normalized,” as the industry tiptoes around any subjects — like the erasure of Tibetan characters in Marvel movie Doctor Strange, or removal of scenes that paint China in a bad light in World War Z — that could potentially put them in trouble with China’s government and thus lose out on the highly lucrative Chinese box office.

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pandemic box office

A new movie topped the U.S. pandemic box office for once, with audiences showing up in — well, not droves, but respectable numbers for The Rental, Dave Franco’s feature directorial debut. While catalog titles filled up the rest of the top 10 of this past weekend’s box office, it goes to show that horror is the only thing that’s thriving at the box office amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, perhaps to offset the real-life horrors that are mounting every day.

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tenet runtime

Tenet is facing yet another roadblock to its theatrical release. The Christopher Nolan action movie has a reported runtime of approximately 150 minutes — a lengthy runtime that is becoming standard for action tentpoles these days, but is way above the standard that China is allowing for films opening in its newly reopened movie theaters. Part of China’s new coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety measures as the country reopens movie theaters is that films playing at the theaters can’t run more than two hours. This presents a major problem for the two hour-plus Tenet and the worldwide box office numbers it needs to rake in for Warner Bros. to make back its money.

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avengers endgame painting

We’re several weeks into coronavirus (COVID-19) being declared a pandemic and having wide-reaching ramifications on the entertainment industry across the globe. But while China, which has managed to curb the virus’ spread, is starting to return to normal life and slowly open its movie theaters, the U.K. and the U.S. movie and TV industries are still getting hit hard.

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chinese movie theaters

After months of being battered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, life is starting to return to normal in China. As the country reports decreasing numbers of new coronavirus cases, hundreds of Chinese movie theaters have started to re-open. But even as more than 500 cinemas have turned on the lights again, the Chinese box office still faces an uphill battle.

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once upon a time in hollywood china release

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is not having a fairy tale release in China. The Quentin Tarantino comedy-drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt would be the filmmaker’s first proper release in China, but a week before Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was set to debut in theaters, regulators abruptly reversed course. No official reason was given, but according to reports, the country’s regulators took issue with the film’s polarizing depiction of Bruce Lee.

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South Park China

More than 20 years after its Comedy Central debut, South Park is still generating controversy.

The show’s most recent episode, “Band in China,” has apparently actually been banned in China because Chinese censors didn’t appreciate the episode’s depiction of the country’s authoritarian regime. Practically all signs of the show have been scrubbed from the Chinese internet, and now creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have issued an “official apology” in response. (Spoiler alert: it’s not a real apology.)

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christopher robin china

Just when you thought 2018 couldn’t get any stranger, Winnie the Pooh has become a polarizing political figure…in China? And it’s not because of his lack of pants, nor his habit of stealing honey from bees (what’s up with that, Pooh!), but because he apparently has a striking resemblance to the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping. Because of that, a Christopher Robin China release has been denied by the country, as the Chinese government cracks down on all images of the silly old bear.

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The Last Jedi china

Star Wars: The Last Jedi wasn’t the movie that Chinese audiences were looking for. The science-fiction sequel tanked in China, following up a disappointing $28.7 million debut with one of the worst second-weekend declines the Chinese box office had ever seen. To kick the movie while it was down, it came in second that weekend to the third film in a sexist domestic romantic-comedy series, The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes.

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china box office

China’s influence on Hollywood in the past few years is palpable, with major blockbusters inserting storylines and characters to specifically cater to Chinese audiences and studios depending on overseas audiences to save critically slammed blockbusters. But Hollywood may soon find that all that pandering hasn’t paid off.

Chinese theaters have been reportedly skimming millions of dollars in ticket revenue from Hollywood studios, with as much as 9% of ticket sales going underreported in 2016. With 2017’s summer box office haul recording as one of the worst Hollywood has seen in decades, what does this mean for the overall box office numbers?

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