'Suicide Squad' is likely banned in China and will take a huge blow in global box office

Suicide squadWarner Bros.‘Suicide Squad.’

Though “Suicide Squad” is already earning big bucks overseas and is primed to break an opening record domestically, it looks more likely than not that the latest DC blockbuster will not be playing in China. That’s a major loss for the film’s studio Warner Bros., since if that holds true, it won’t get a bump from the world’s second-largest film market at a time when it could use good news among the negative reviews for the film.

A source familiar with the matter told Business Insider that because of China’s censorship of stories with a negative outlook on life, it has passed on including the movie in its upcoming releases. It doesn’t help that the movie also has a supernatural aspect, another no-no by the standards of the China Film Co., the state-owned body responsible for the importing and releasing of foreign films in the country.

China Film Co. sets its release calendar at least two months in advance. Warner Bros. has not received any notice as of yet that the film is slated, so it appears that “Suicide Squad” has been axed.

“Suicide Squad” — which was retitled to the more toned-down “Task Force X” for a potential China release, according to the source — looks at a group of supervillians who team up to take on a much greater evil to save the world. The movie contains a massive amount of gun violence, bad language, and all other sorts of bad-guy antics that the China Film Co. would likely deem unsuitable for Chinese audiences.

Ghostbusters 3 hopper stone sonyHopper Stone/Sony‘Ghostbusters.’

This was about the last thing Warner Bros. wanted to hear. China has been a huge help in the global box office of other summer releases this year, including “Warcraft,” which has earned $220.8 million in China to date but only $47.2 million in the US. “Zootopia,” with $235.5 million, is the highest-earning Hollywood film to play there so far this year.

Recently, the new “Ghostbusters” was denied a release in China due to its supernatural themes. That movie has made over $110 million domestically but only $51.7 million internationally.

Warner Bros. declined to comment for this story.

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