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Suicide Squad's chances of being released in China are dead in the water

08.05.2016

Looks like China won’t be joining the SQAUD anytime soon…the SUICIDE SQUAD that is. Pretty good, right?

Anyway, we reported a few weeks ago that GHOSTBUSTERS had no release date set for China, and a few months ago that DEADPOOL was going to be banned in the country. Well, it turns out we can add another movie to the Big Movies That China Doesn’t Really Think Should Be Shown In Their Country For Whatever Reason list (gotta think of a new name for that).

The Hollywood Reporter has found out that SUICIDE SQUAD has yet to get a release date from the state-backed China Film Group, something which is reported to be done as much as two months in advance for foreign releases. One Chinese executive commented saying:

They think this is not a good film to release in China.

Apparently, there's a regulation that basically states that anything "propagating passive or negative outlook on life, worldview and value system" is not allowed to be shown in the country. Given the nature of the “bad guys fighting bad guys” narrative of the story, SQUAD more than likely fits their criteria.

There's a similar clause that prohibited GHOSTBUSTERS from being shown in the country, but it pertains to the blocking of material that depicts supernatural elements. The Film Group is allowed to set these standards, as they do not have a ratings board (like our MPAA) that rates the movies, which means they put movies under a lot of scrutiny before they're released. However, once they are, they're available to all ages.

As for SQUAD, we don’t have to do a serious amount of calculations to determine that this movie is f@cked. When looking at BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN’s final total ($872 million global) about 9 percent came from China ($95 million). Add that in with its U.S. tally and about 45-50 percent of the movie’s final total came from just those two countries. That’s a lot, just in case you’re not a numbers person.

This is especially disconcerting when you consider that BVS isn’t expected to make Warner Bros. a lot of money on its box office total alone, and the difference in production budget between it and SQUAD is only about $75 million (before marketing costs). So if SQUAD underperforms—which it's likely to do after its inflated weekend and given poor reception from critics and audiences so far—the amount it gets from losing China will be a big hit to Warner Bros.' battleship. Given the state of the studios DC universe, this hit could create one hole too many in the ship’s hull. The boat puns doing anything for you?

SUICIDE SQUAD starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis and many more comes out today.

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