In an exclusive report from the Hollywood Reporter, Blumhouse Productions “…will make its foray into China via an ambitious new partnership with Tang Media Partners, the Shanghai- and Los Angeles-based entertainment company founded by Donald Tang in 2015.”
Blum and Tang confirmed the deal at the Shanghai International Film Festival. Both parties “…said they have entered into a collaboration agreement to co-develop and co-finance a slate of Chinese-language horror and thriller films to be distributed by TMP in China. The projects will be jointly produced in both China and the U.S.” and the first film will be American Nightmare, a Chinese-language film that will be shot in California.
Although the move makes sense in terms of potential financial gains, as China is an ever-growing market for Hollywood films, they also have some very strict film guidelines, most notably language that prohibits cults, ghosts, and “excessive horror” on screen. The rule goes even further to ban any depictions of “psychological pain, hysteria, causing strong stimulation to senses and emotions with uncomfortable pictures, lines, music, and sound effects, etc.” For these very reasons, “Most of Blumhouse’s most lucrative horror/thriller titles, for example — Get Out, Split and the Paranormal franchise — weren’t distributed to China.” In 2016, the much maligned Ghost Busters reboot was actually denied release in China, even after the film was renamed “Super Power Dare Die Team.”
Aside for these strict guidelines, the Chinese Film Industry also routinely remove scenes from film that don’t meet their film code’s standards. Last year, Alien Covenant lost six minutes of scenes that featured aliens which only left one or two minutes of scenes featuring the creatures (sans any blood of course) in the film and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter lost seven to eight minutes of violent content.
Surprisingly, Blumhouse’s own Happy Death Day was released in China, earning $9.6 million even though the Pg-13 rated film is described by the MPAA as including “violence/terror, crude sexual content, language, some drug material and partial nudity.” It is not clear if the film also faced the typical editing that is so common place in China these days.
Stay tuned to Horror News Network for more information about this deal and everything else in the world of horror.