Sony Pictures has got shocking news from abroad. The studio's "Django Unchained" has been yanked off from theaters on the first day of the movie's screening in China. The movie was supposed to be Quentin Tarantino's first movie to get commercial release in the country.
Sony's representative Steve Elzer tells Deadline upon hearing the news, "We regret that Django Unchained has been removed from theaters and are working with the Chinese authorities to determine whether the film can be rescheduled."
Rumor has it, the screening at some venues was stopped after one minute of footage of the Jamie Foxx-starring slavery drama was played. A notice delivered to cinema companies in the country reportedly cited "technical reasons ... for the time being."
Industry insiders suggested nudity was the reason behind the sudden cancellation. According to Sony Columbia executive Zhang Miao, the movie had got an official pre-release review in the country before and some minor issues with its violence scenes such as the amount of the blood splatter had been resolved.
The cancellation of "Django Unchained" screening in China could affect the movie's international box office receipts since the world's most populous country has become the second-largest market, surpassing Japan with 36 percent of increase last year.
A total of $2.7 billion was collected through movie tickets in China in 2012 although the government imposed very strict rules over what films could and could not be screened. By the end of the year, the country was placed at the second spot after North America.