What do James Cameron’s Titanic and Avatar have in common? They were both sunk (though not without trace): one in the Atlantic and the other by Chinese bureaucrats. As predicted in WiC45 (page 17) Avatar’s striking parallels with debates in China about land rights are said to be behind its disappearance from screens: the 4,500 or so ‘2D’ ones that is. The Wall Street Journal reports the film is still being shown on 800 iMax or 3D screens, so it’s not technically a ban.
Avatar has been a runaway success, taking a record Rmb500 million at the box office. But the government says it is worried that local films are being crowded out. Coincidentally (perhaps), the last day Avatar will be shown on conventional (2D) screens is January 22 – also the day that locally-made epic Confucius goes on release nationwide, reports the Chengdu Business Daily.
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