The film, originally scheduled for August 29, will be replaced by a few smaller foreign titles imported on a flat-fee basis.
Twentieth Century Fox's China representative said yesterday that the company was still waiting for confirmation from China Film Import and Export Company, the only company allowed to import foreign films.
Beijing's cinema owners, however, have been informed that the Fantastic Four will not be shown at the time slot. Posters and upcoming film information on the film have been taken off major cinemas' facilities and websites.
Some industry players believe the reason to pull Fantastic Four is that China's summer movie market seems overheated with action and fantasy blockbusters such as Transformers and Harry Potter And The Order of Phoenix, plus Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End and Spiderman 3 in June and May season.
Transformers has so far taken $35.5m (270m RMB), the second best-selling foreign film in China so far. The top-selling foreign film record was set by Titanic in 1997 with $39.47m (300m RMB)
Instead of showing US action blockbusters, China will open several slightly older films that are imported on flat-fee basis.
Japan TBS Network's 2006 hit Sinking Of Japan will open on Aug 30, imported by China Film with Polybona assisting promotion.
The Queen and Bollywood action film Krrish will also open between September and October. And Warner Bros' 2007 romance comedy No Reservations will open on September 7 as the only revenue-sharing film during the two months.
It is known that the Chinese Communist Party will hold its 17th congress in October and Chinese local films will be largely promoted in October. No revenue-sharing foreign films will be released during the period.