Read more at Newsweek
The Lord of the Rings has been pulled from China’s movie theaters and replaced with a series of pre–Cultural Revolution films, ending just two weeks of a rerelease period for Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy.
Multiple Chinese news outlets reported this week that the Chinese Communist Party’s National Film Administration suddenly withdrew the Hollywood movies, which were scheduled to return to theaters this month, just in time for a 20th anniversary. The film adaptions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy book series are now set to be replaced with CCP propaganda films, to celebrate the party’s 100th anniversary, between April 1 and December.
According to several state-run Chinese outlets, the CCP’s publicity department has requested mandatory film screenings at theaters, prompting Chinese film commentators in the U.S. to denounce the move.
At least eight CCP-approved films have been screened at Chinese theaters since April 1, just three days before Variety reported that The Fellowship of the Ring, the trilogy’s first film, was scheduled to begin screening. The replacement of the Hollywood blockbusters means there will be huge financial losses for theaters as well.
Chinese portal Sohu reported Monday that six of the eight CCP propaganda films made very little money during the first week of screening, particularly in comparison with the wildly popular Lord of the Rings rerelease.