It’s Not Clear Why Avatar 2: The Way of Water is Unsuitable for Chinese Audiences


credit: Avatar: The Way of Water

Each country has its own reasons for saying yes or no to a non-domestic movie, but when looking at the charts, it’s easy to see that China has been one of the strictest countries around when it comes to accepting one movie or another. James Cameron, who has been making several odd statements over the past few months when comparing Avatar 2, which is now in theaters, to other movies, can no doubt appreciate that this movie is one of the few that has made its way into China at this time. However, at least a few studio executives have clarified that they don’t believe Avatar 2 is suitable for Chinese audiences. It would appear that Chinese critics and audiences are not in agreement with the said executives, but at this time, it’s uncertain if this will affect the box office numbers or if someone will eventually give way to clear this matter up. At the outset, it’s straightforward to see how upsetting this point of view would be too many individuals who were aching to see Cameron’s new movie and how closed-off this line of thinking might appear to many others. Banning movies is not a new development in China, though the reasoning behind such an act is tough to figure out unless it’s spoken aloud. 


credit: Avatar: The Way of Water

It appears that China wants to focus on its domestic box office

One thing that can’t be denied is that the USA has dominated domestic and foreign box offices over the years with many hit movies that have become a part of several different cultures. The fact that many countries have embraced what American filmmakers have offered makes it clear that as imaginative and creative as domestic artists can be, the influence of America is incredibly strong and has even inspired filmmakers around the world to create new and entertaining stories that are similar or have taken various elements and turned them into their own stories. But while this is hard to deny, it’s also wise to note that China has a very rich cinematic history that many might wish to see pushed ahead of a foreign competitor. 

Another outbreak of COVID-19 is said to have something to do with the matter

This sounds like an odd excuse despite the seriousness of the virus, but it has been mentioned in many other articles that a COVID-19 outbreak was one reason that theaters might have seen a drop in profits since the measures that need to be taken might lower the number of people who are able to visit the theater. The reality is that the virus is now a part of everyday life since it became a massive issue in 2020, and enclosed areas such as theaters are still dangerous spots that need to be regulated in order to keep from experiencing further outbreaks. When speaking of a movie and how it’s unsuitable for audiences, however, this is one of the strongest arguments to use since, despite the seriousness of the virus, the many precautions that have been taken over the last two years should negate many of the dangers that were such an issue in the initial months of the outbreak. 

Avatar: The Way of Water

credit: Avatar: The Way of Water

Various elements within a given story will often determine whether it will be banned in various countries

Some countries don’t want to allow movies with subjects that go against the dominant religious beliefs of the people. This is difficult, if not impossible, to get around at times, but to date, China hasn’t been a country that has shown much difficulty in accepting movies that have the types of content that might be banned in other countries. Unless a movie is bound to show any negative aspects of a given country, it feels as though they might be perfectly acceptable to many foreign markets. For instance, various countries don’t want to deal with anything that promotes LGBTQ+ content and ideas, which are acceptable in many parts of the world but are banned in others. 

Why this movie would be deemed unsuitable is still hard to figure out

In the long run, it feels that the studio executives that have an issue with this movie might want to see a more robust domestic product and have decided to come up with one arbitrary reason or another to state that Avatar 2 is unsuitable for Chinese audiences. While this does sound petty and less than useful, it is also difficult to get around. Whether it will affect the box office numbers of Avatar 2 in a meaningful way has yet to be determined, but it is a curious development to consider. In all honesty, the attempt to keep people from watching the movie doesn’t sound successful, nor does it sound as though the people of China agree one way or another. 

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