“Suicide Squad” May Not Get Chinese Release

While David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” opens around much of the world this weekend, one market it won’t hit yet and may not get into at all is also the world’s second most lucrative – China.

Heat Vision reports that state-backed distributor China Film Group has yet to put the film onto its internal release calendar which means it’s certainly not coming out in the next two months there. China’s regulators also notify the studios of the local release dates for their films around 30 to 45 days in advance – that hasn’t happened for ‘Squad’ as yet.

The hope was the film, which would be retitled “Special Task Force X” in the local market, would get through with its PG-13 rating, but sources for the trades say it appears increasingly unlikely the film will get the nod. The film’s dark and anarchic tone may not be suitable for China’s official censorship guidelines which state that film stories “propagating passive or negative outlook on life, worldview and value system” are disallowed.

Chinese box office can be a make or break element at the box-office with Disney’s “Zootopia” and “Captain America: Civil War” both pulling in a further $190-230 million from the Chinese local market while Legendary Entertainment’s “Warcraft” made $221 million which help mitigate the damage from its flop on the domestic front.