December 3, 2022

James Cameron’s new ‘Avatar’ film gets rare China release

2 min read

The long-awaited sequel to director James Cameron’s blockbuster film “Avatar” will be released in mainland Chinese theaters on Dec. 16, 20th Century Studios said Wednesday.

“Avatar: Waterway” The studio said on its official Weibo account that it will be released in China on the same day as its global release.

It became one of the few foreign films to break into the Chinese market in recent months, along with the latest in the “Minions” franchise and Sony Pictures’ “Where the Crawdads Sing.”

Foreign films have long struggled to get release dates in mainland China because of strict quotas on the number of international films allowed to be shown and many content deemed inappropriate by Chinese regulators. Blocked due to

Hollywood blockbusters have worked especially hard lately. Getting clearance to exhibit in China is difficult.. Six of Marvel’s latest films have not been seen in China, and earlier this year “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was also denied a release in China.

Scrutiny of Hollywood films has increased with the rise of Chinese film studios making their own versions of high-octane blockbusters from American studios.

Chinese-made hits include the “Wolf Warrior” franchise and last year’s breakout hit, “The Battle at Changjin Lake.” has proven popular with Chinese audiences who are eager to see more Chinese-centric stories on the big screen.

That said, as Chinese movie ticket sales topped U.S. ticket sales for the first time in 2020, the Chinese movie market is facing a tough Covid-19 lockdown. Cinemas across the country are often asked to suspend operations or limit audience numbers.

Especially as cases continue to rise, people in many cities across the country are avoiding going to cinemas.

China’s total box office take for this year has reached just 28.27 billion yuan ($4 billion), according to Chinese cinema data app Dengta. This is a huge drop from 2019’s 64.15 billion yuan or even last year’s 47.04 billion.

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