CATEGORIES Action, Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Disney, Warner Brothers, Distribution, Johnny Depp, Harry Potter, Remakes and Sequels, Movie News, CinematicalDisney will be trying hard this summer to get Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End into Chinese cinemas despite the fact that the last installment of the franchise was banned by the country's censors. Obviously the studio is aware that many of China's movie fans at least got to see Dead Man's Chest via bootleg, and it understandably wants to profit from those fans' desire to see part three. But this isn't just about exploiting the expectant audiences, and it isn't exactly about fighting piracy. All of Hollywood wants to succeed in the Chinese market because it is a growing source of income for the studios.
What this means for the rest of the world may be nothing. Hollywood studios and distribs will likely start censoring for easy approval by China the same way they censor for the rest of the international markets. As I mentioned recently when The Departed failed with Chinese censors, the best way for a film to meet approval is for it to have no mention of China. However, the Chinese aren't only concerned with references to themselves; Dead Man's Chest was banned because it featured cannibals.
The Chinese version of our holiday season is coming up soon, and the titles looking for big box office are Night at the Museum, which has been performing brilliantly all over the world, 16 Blocks and South Korea's Joong Cheon (The Restless). These will be taking up three of the 20 quota slots that China allows to be filled by imported titles, and the last of these fills one slot that Hollywood missed out on. Following this month's big movie-going time, Hollywood will continue trying to fill in the rest of these slots, and so Chinese audiences may or may not get proper releases of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Pursuit of Happyness, Transformers and At World's End.