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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 14:03, June 10, 2006
"M:I3" to show in China in July with scenes cut, "Da Vinci Code" pulled to give way to homemade films
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Tom Cruise action thriller "Mission: Impossible III" (M:I3) is due to be released on the Chinese mainland on July 20, a state-owned foreign movie distributor said on Friday, the same day it withdrew "The Da Vinci Code" from Chinese cinemas.

The releasing decision came after month-long rumor that the movie could be banned by Chinese censors as the movie compromises the image of Shanghai.

"It's sure that the movie has been somewhat cut," Weng Li, deputy manager of the film exhibition and distribution arm under the China Film Group Corporation (CFGC), the movie's China distributor, told Xinhua at the mention of "M:I3" on Friday.

He did not tell which parts were cut, while earlier report said the scenes needing amendment included "a car chase and shootings on the streets of Shanghai" and "laundry hanging from balconies."

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) put forward a recommendation for changes to the CFGC, an official with the SARFT told Xinhua last month.

Speculators had said the movie might be banned because of a portrayal of Shanghai that includes tattered clothes being hung on bamboo rods and a slow police response to a trespassing attempt by Cruise's character, secret agent Ethan Hunt.

Bootleg DVDs of "M:I3," however, have appeared in Beijing for approximately a month.

"Due to their inferior quality, the pirated DVDs won't have an influence on the movie's box office in China," Weng told Xinhua.

"M:I3" has grossed over 122 million U.S. dollars in North America five weeks since its release, the Associated Press has reported.

The movie was slated in China for July because regulations from the SARFT put a limit on the number of imported films allowed to be shown in China from June 10 to July 10 to protect the domestic film industry, Weng added.

With "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown" released on Friday and "Poseidon" released on May 30 in China, there will be two imported movies showing in Chinese cinemas during the month.

In light of the regulations, the blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" was withdrawn from Chinese cinemas by its China distributor CFGC on Friday, three weeks after its release here.

The withdrawal is to make way for homemade movies releasing in the upcoming month, Weng told Xinhua.

"We made a purely commercial decision. No single film could monopolize the market for one or two months, not even in the United States," Weng said, "We are making room for the next month when 10-plus homemade films will show across the country."

Having made 104 million yuan (13 million U.S. dollars) since its release on May 19, "The Da Vinci Code" was on its way to becoming one of the most profitable foreign films in China.

At the China premiere of "The Da Vinci Code," four and a half hours before the film's showing at the Cannes Film Festival, Xu Bing, a spokesman with CFGC, predicted it was likely to grab more than 60 million yuan (7.5 million U.S. dollars) on the Chinese mainland.

The film has sparked controversy around the world and courted accusations of blasphemy with its premise that the Catholic church tried to cover up the supposed marriage of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.

Source: Xinhua

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