How the new ‘Minions’ movie scored rare approval to release in China

How the new ‘Minions’ movie scored rare approval to release in China

August 10, 2022
A new film from Universal Pictures has secured a highly coveted release date in China, defying a recent trend of major Hollywood blockbusters failing to break into the Chinese moviegoing market. 
“Minions: The Rise of Gru” is set to be released in Chinese cinemas in less than two weeks.
“Long time no see, troublemakers! Minions 2 will be released on Aug. 19. Come and meet the minions on the big screen!” the studio’s Weibo announcement read in Chinese. 
Getting a film shown in the world’s largest film market provides entertainment studios with a huge potential boost to their revenue.
In 2019, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers Endgame” earned over $629 million in Chinese theaters, almost rivaling the $858 million it earned in U.S. ticket sales.
However, the China Film Administration (CFA), the agency that grants approvals for foreign films, has been rejecting more and more Hollywood films in recent years.  
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

The latest casualty was Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which reportedly lost the potential for a Chinese release window due to its inclusion of LGBTQ-plus scenes.
The Chinese government had earlier announced its efforts to purify China’s entertainment industry and destroy the “fake, ugly and evil values” of celebrity worship. 
Observers have also attributed the Chinese censors’ stricter screening process to deteriorating political relations between the U.S. and China.
Experts are now saying the approval of “Minions: The Rise of Gru” might have been due to its inclusion of Chinese content, such as the celebration of the Chinese New Year and the appearance of animals from the Chinese Zodiac.
Michael Berry, director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Fortune that the Chinese censors likely view Minions as “less of a threat, politically…as a film aimed at much younger audiences.”
There are also other potential benefits of approving the latest Minions film — Chinese state-owned company Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment owns 70 percent of Universal Beijing Resort, the new Universal theme park that opened in Beijing last year.
Featured Image via Illumination
      Ryan General

      Ryan General is a Senior Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.