China OKs ‘Smurfs 2’ After Denying Other Pics

Decision comes after China denied access to 'World War Z' and 'Despicable Me 2'

After shutting the door on a number of big-budget Hollywood films, China has given the greenlight to Sony’s “Smurfs” sequel, sources close to the film told Variety.

Sony declined to comment.

The decision on “Smurfs” comes after Chinese authorities denied access to Paramount’s “World War Z” and Universal’s “Despicable Me 2.” The former at least came as a surprise as some insiders close to the pic expected a Chinese release this fall. The original “Despicable Me” never played in the country.

Smurfs 2” may have gotten the greenlight to open in China, but it hasn’t gotten a release date, and its distribution is by no means guaranteed. Known for a mercurial decision-making process, the Chinese government has routinely changed its mind regarding the distribution of foreign films, often with little notice or explanation. Recently the share of local pics has grown in proportion to imported films.

Chinese censors rigorously scrutinize each foreign film, often taking issue with a film even after a decision on whether to let it into the country has been made. Earlier this year, regulators pulled “Django Unchained” and “The Croods” from theaters after both films had already opened.

Despite these difficulties, foreign distributors continue to try and claw their way into the booming Chinese marketplace. Universal’s “Fast and Furious 6” opens on Chinese screens Friday.

Sony’s original “Smurfs” earned $40 million when it opened in China in January 2012.

More Film

  • Golden Globes

    HFPA, Dick Clark Productions Near New Golden Globe Awards Rights Deal With NBC

    After shutting the door on a number of big-budget Hollywood films, China has given the greenlight to Sony’s “Smurfs” sequel, sources close to the film told Variety. Sony declined to comment. The decision on “Smurfs” comes after Chinese authorities denied access to Paramount’s “World War Z” and Universal’s “Despicable Me 2.” The former at least […]

  • Wavescape Film Fest Rides High With

    Wavescape Film Fest Rides High With 14th Edition

    After shutting the door on a number of big-budget Hollywood films, China has given the greenlight to Sony’s “Smurfs” sequel, sources close to the film told Variety. Sony declined to comment. The decision on “Smurfs” comes after Chinese authorities denied access to Paramount’s “World War Z” and Universal’s “Despicable Me 2.” The former at least […]

  • (L to R) Tanya (CHRISTINE BARANSKI),

    Why 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again's' Box Office Opening Is Still a Win

    After shutting the door on a number of big-budget Hollywood films, China has given the greenlight to Sony’s “Smurfs” sequel, sources close to the film told Variety. Sony declined to comment. The decision on “Smurfs” comes after Chinese authorities denied access to Paramount’s “World War Z” and Universal’s “Despicable Me 2.” The former at least […]

  • James Gunn

    Thousands Sign Petition Asking Disney to Rehire James Gunn for 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'

    After shutting the door on a number of big-budget Hollywood films, China has given the greenlight to Sony’s “Smurfs” sequel, sources close to the film told Variety. Sony declined to comment. The decision on “Smurfs” comes after Chinese authorities denied access to Paramount’s “World War Z” and Universal’s “Despicable Me 2.” The former at least […]

  • Locarno: FiGa Films Acquires ‘Temporada,’ Drops

    Locarno: FiGa Films Acquires ‘Temporada,’ Drops Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    After shutting the door on a number of big-budget Hollywood films, China has given the greenlight to Sony’s “Smurfs” sequel, sources close to the film told Variety. Sony declined to comment. The decision on “Smurfs” comes after Chinese authorities denied access to Paramount’s “World War Z” and Universal’s “Despicable Me 2.” The former at least […]

  • Brazil Launches New Audiovisual Production Hub

    Brazil Launches New Audiovisual Production Hub in Niteroi

    After shutting the door on a number of big-budget Hollywood films, China has given the greenlight to Sony’s “Smurfs” sequel, sources close to the film told Variety. Sony declined to comment. The decision on “Smurfs” comes after Chinese authorities denied access to Paramount’s “World War Z” and Universal’s “Despicable Me 2.” The former at least […]

  • Indian Fantasy 'Tumbbad' to Kick Off

    Indian Fantasy 'Tumbbad' to Kick Off Venice Critics' Week

    After shutting the door on a number of big-budget Hollywood films, China has given the greenlight to Sony’s “Smurfs” sequel, sources close to the film told Variety. Sony declined to comment. The decision on “Smurfs” comes after Chinese authorities denied access to Paramount’s “World War Z” and Universal’s “Despicable Me 2.” The former at least […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content