Variety is reporting that Warner Bros. will not attempt at distributing “The Dark Knight” in China, despite a strong foreign box office payoff for the film at over $450 million.
Warner released this statement about the situation, saying that “Based on a number of pre-release conditions that are being attached to ‘The Dark Knight’ as well as cultural sensitivities to some elements of the film, we have opted to forego a theatrical release of the film in China”.
Though studio executives declined to comment on the story, “The Dark Knight” included scenes shot in Hong Kong, that depict the hero Batman in the city itself, which could have created difficulties with the Chinese censors.
Though the Chinese film market, both in terms of domestic films as well as imported international films, has been growing in years due to increased numbers of multiplexes and an expanding middle class, there is still a level of government censorship of imported films and a general cultural sensitivity about depictions of China by non-Chinese filmmakers.
2008′s “The Dark Knight” is the second of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, the sequel to 2005′s “Batman Begins” starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, and the late Heath Ledger as the enigmatic and insane villain known only as the Joker, who is attempting to take over Gotham City and kill Batman. “The Dark Knight”, a summer smash when it hit theaters this past summer, has taken in over $500 million total from the box office, only the second US film to ever do so.
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By Costa Koutsoutis, (Source: Variety.com)