TODAY'S HEADLINES: China government denies banning 'Despicable Me 2' from theaters on August 05, 2013



Despicable Me 2's puzzling ban from Chinese theaters, announced two weeks ago, was, according to sources, untrue.

China news site Film Business Asia is reporting the Chinese government never banned Despicable Me 2 from theaters, stating it was never submitted for censorship. 

Edko, a Chinese distributor of foreign films, reportedly chose not to adapt the animated film for Chinese audiences.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television is reportedly "annoyed" by false claims of a ban.

For the full story, check out Film Business Asia.


Today's Top Story: Trailer for Corman's 'The Living Dead' released on August 02, 2013

87-year-old Roger Corman, famous espouser of B-movies, is putting some money into Chinese ultra-low-budgets. Financed through Hong Kong-based production company ACE Studios, Corman’s two projects will be English-language productions targeted at the United States cable TV market — Fist of the Dragon, slated for a 2014 release, and The Living Dead, which has already been completed. 

The Living Dead, which will be released in the U.S. as Hell’s Haunted Palace, is a rare horror film from China, as the government has a strict ban in place that forbids the depiction of paranormal activities on screen in order to prevent exposure to types of archaic superstition.

Directed by Chinese-Australian Antony Szeto, The Living Dead premiered at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in Bucheon, South Korea. It depicts a team of U.S. filmmakers who have their original mission of making a documentary about the Chinese Ghost Festival derailed by a deadly female spirit. 

This film will not be released in China and Szeto says the film wasn’t made for Chinese audiences — it was made for the United States. It stars Catherine Siggins, Katie Savoy, James Taku Leung, and Juju Chan. The trailer was just released:

[Twitch and The Hollywood Reporter]


Today's Top Story: China's summer box office revenue at $652 million on August 02, 2013

Last year, China's box office revenue from June to August was ¥4.1 billion (approx. $660 million). This year's mark fell right about the same — ¥4 billion (approx. $652 million). 

More than 50 films will be screened in the three month period, including both Hollywood blockbusters and domestic features. The domestic productions outpaced the imports during the stretch. In the next half of the summer, however, there will be more international films — including Monsters University, which is slated for release on August 23. [China Daily]

OVERSEAS: 'Pacific Rim' Opens to $9M in China on July 31, 2013

pacificrimSTILL.jpgThe Hollywood Reporter is quoting a $9 million opening day for Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim in China. It's a huge number for Warner Bros., marking the highest single-day performance in the territory in the studio's history. Pacific Rim now moves up to second place among the biggest non-Chinese openings of the year, pushing Fast 6 down to third place days after the Vin Diesel movie shattered opening day records for Universal in the market. 

CHINA: 'Fast 6' Posts Second Highest Opening Weekend of a Hollywood Film in 2013 on July 30, 2013

Fast6.jpgFast 6 crossed the $500 million mark at the overseas box office after a $24 million opening weekend in China. $3 million of the take came from IMAX screens as the sixth installment in the Fast franchise became Universal's highest opening of all time in the market. Fast & Furious 6 scored the second-highest opening weekend for a non-Chinese release in 2013, only trailing Iron Man 3. The $503 million overseas total is a major milestone for Fast & Furious 6, the highest grossing film in the franchise and the first to reach the half-billion mark outside of North America.

White House Down opened early on in the week and went on to score a healthy $18.7 million take after its first week in release. Roland Emmerich's second go at trashing the White House has struggled worldwide, including a disappointing $70 million run in North America. South Korea ($3.5M) and Russia ($3.4M) are the other top performers for the film outside of China. White House Down has grossed $116.2 million globally.

The two Hollywood new releases in the market put a dent in After Earth's strong Chinese run. The M Night Shyamalan film tumbled down to fifth place on the chart with a $3.14 million take in its third week. A $240 million worldwide total for the Will Smith father-son vehicle isn't up to Sony's original expectations but can't be considered a total disaster considering the film's poor $59 million run in North America. China is the most significant market for After Earth by a wide margin, responsible for $33.8 million of its $182 million overseas total. Other top performers for After Earth include Russia ($17M), Mexico ($13.7M), and France ($10.4M).

Top Ten Films in China. 


Data Courtesy of EntGroup.

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more news on the global box office.


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