Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from "Django Unchained." (Andrew Cooper )
Executives at Sony Pictures Entertainment are working to get “Django Unchained” back into theaters in China after the film was abruptly pulled on its opening day. Some screenings were halted after they were already underway.
It wasn't immediately clear why the action was taken.
"We regret that ‘Django Unchained’ has been removed from theaters and are working with the Chinese authorities to determine whether the film can be rescheduled," said Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesman Steve Elzer on Thursday.
The film was to have been the first Quentin Tarantino film to be released in China, even though parts of his “Kill Bill” films were shot there.
“Django” has already taken in about $256 million internationally. The top overseas markets for the film so far have been those of Germany, France and the United Kingdom. “Django” has collected more than $162 million at the U.S. box office.
The film, winner of two Academy Awards for its violent, dramatic revenge tale set amid the era of slavery in late 1800s America, had already been altered for the Chinese market, as Sony Columbia’s head of China operations Zhang Miao told Chinese media in an April 9 interview.
"The director had agreed to minor adjustments for different markets," Zhang told the Southern Metropolis Daily. "The violence in the film is a way to serve the main theme, and to tone it down a bit won't hurt the film's essence. For example, the blood can be darkened a little, and the spouts of blood can be shortened."
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Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus
Times staff writer Daniel Miller contributed to this report