‘Despicable Me 2’ Denied Release In China

Despicable Me 2 won’t be heading to theaters in China anytime soon.

Since the country’s film market is the second largest in the world, getting films into cinemas there is becoming increasingly important for studios. However, getting movies past Chinese officials appears to be a game where the rules can change on a whim.

For reasons that remain unclear, the Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment flick Despicable Me 2 has been denied a release in China. The studio confirmed the news on Tuesday (July 23).

China’s State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television can deny movies from screening in the country for the smallest offenses. In order for the Brad Pitt zombie flick World War Z to make it into theaters, the filmmakers had to remove a scene that cast the country in a negative light.

However, nobody seems to know what caused Despicable Me 2 to rub Chinese officials the wrong way. Universal has not commented further on the situation as of this writing.

“It’s very unlikely that it is about the content of the film. What could Despicable Me 2 possibly be doing to threaten people’s interests there?” film consultant Robert Cain recently explained to the Los Angeles Times.

Although the Despicable Me sequel was rejected by officials, Universal Pictures has seen some of their other films hit theaters in China. Jurassic Park 3D, Oblivion, and Les Miserables were all released earlier this year. Fast and Furious 6 will bow in the country this Friday.

While some studios are hoping that their films make it onto screens in China, others are taking a more proactive approach. Paramount Pictures and Michael Bay agreed to shoot a large portion of Transformers 4 in the country, which practically ensures that the film will screen there upon its release.

Are you surprised that Despicable Me 2 was denied a release in China? Why do you think the movie was rejected by the State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television?

[Image via Universal Pictures / Illumination Entertainment]