The moment DC Comics fans have been waiting for since its announcement in 2014 is finally here — “Suicide Squad” opened in theaters across the globe on Friday. While fans in most major cities around the world will be able to formulate their own opinions about the movie, which was not well received by critics, it seems fans in China will have to sit this one out.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Suicide Squad” has not yet been greenlit for release in what is the second largest movie market in the world. Sources in Beijing tell the publication there is little chance, despite its PG-13 rating, that the film will get a thumbs up from the China Film Group. The organization is not believed to have added “Suicide Squad” to its internal release calendar and have no plans to.
“They think this is not a good film to release in China,” one executive told THR.
Warner Bros., the studio behind “Suicide Squad,” is said to have done their best to get to movie past strict censors in China. When translating the name they attempted to make it seem less dark, calling it “Special Task Force X.” Still, many worried that the plot of the film — which follows nine notorious villains attempting to save the world from a force far more evil — was just too twisted. THR notes that China’s censorship guidelines include standards which block cinematic works that are “propagating passive or negative outlook on life, worldview and value system.”
Despite being banned in one of the largest movie markets in the world and receiving a number of unfavorable reviews, “Suicide Squad” is expected to bring in big money at the box office. The film, which opened on Thursday with 6 p.m. showings in select theaters, has already grossed a whopping $20.5 million. While it is early in the month, Deadline reports that this is a record for August film previews. The success of “Suicide Squad” casts a dark shadow over “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which previously held the record for drawing $11.2 million on its first Thursday. As DC films go, their latest is the third highest grossing — sitting pretty behind “Dark Knight Rises” (2012) and “Batman v Superman” (2016), which grossed $30.6 million and $27.7 million, respectively.
In addition to bad reviews, “Suicide Squad” and its stars have been embroiled in controversy as of late. On Wednesday, reports surfaced claiming that Margot Robbie, who plays Harley Quinn, was photoshopped in television ads. The Sun reported that Robbie’s butt was altered digitally to appear more “family friendly” in commercials for the film — fans noted that in previously released trailers Harley Quinn was shown sporting shorts that resembled underwear and showed bits of her butt. In others, she appeared more covered. Robbie addressed the controversy, telling Australian radio station Nova969 there was a chance that alterations were made in editing, but she was not aware of them.
“I didn’t know about that...having been there on the day, they were very small but wow, I wonder if they did? That would be extensive photoshopping to do,” she said.
“Suicide Squad” is now in theaters.