When we think of Hollywood, we like to think of it as the center of the movie world. However, Indian cinema sells way more tickets per annum than the North American market, and China is now the biggest market in value on the planet. Hollywood chases the Renminbi and chases it hard. There were 64.3 billion of them up for grabs.
So any Hollywood movie that gets granted a full release in China is something of a bonus for the studios. However, China has some of the world’s most restrictive censorship rules with authorities only approving a handful of foreign films for release each year. Frequently they demand major cuts.
These cuts also extend to Western movies released on streaming platforms in China, where Western streamers generally don’t get a look in and domestic platforms dominate.
Yahoo Movies are reporting that David Fincher’s 1999 cult classic Fight Club is no exception. The Brad Pitt and Edward Norton movie has appeared on the Tencent streaming platform and the changes are something unexpected.
The original movie had an anti-capitalist message at its core and the climax features Project Mayhem unfolding after The Narrator kills off his alter ego Tyler Durden.
In China… not so much.
The Narrator still proceeds with the killing but before the final, climactic shot of Fight Club with buildings exploding a black screen appears. Then the text explains:
“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding”
It then claims that Tyler Durden was taken to a lunatic asylum for treatment that was so successful he was discharged. Seriously. Here it is!
Tencent refused to comment.
Under President Xi Jinping, Chinese authorities decree what elements they deem unhealthy or against the public good in entertainment, including perceived immoral behavior depicted on the screen.
Hilariously, the Chinese release of Bohemian Rhapsody completely removed any and all references to Freddie Mercury’s sexuality.