X-Men spin-off is the first film to be affected by China’s new Film Industry Promotion Law.
Fox International’s Logan has been released in China today (March 3) with a parental advisory, making it the first film to be affected by China’s new Film Industry Promotion Law, which came into effect on March 1.
The X-Men spin-off has been flagged in marketing materials and at all points of sale with the notice: “Primary school students and pre-school children must be accompanied by parents or a guardian.”
The film has already lost around 14 minutes of its running time due to cuts requested by China’s censors. In the US, it received an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America due to violence, strong language and brief nudity.
China’s Film Industry Promotion Law has a clause stating that films with content deemed “physically and mentally uncomfortable” for underage audiences should carry clear warnings for parents.
China doesn’t have a film ratings system, despite repeated calls for one from the US studios, so usually only films considered suitable for all age ranges are certified for release. It’s unclear whether the new clause is a first step towards a fully-fledged classification system, or an attempt to quell further demands for one.
At the end of 2016, Hacksaw Ridge was released in China with a warning that the film is not suitable for children under the age of 12, but it’s understood this was a voluntary act by the film’s distributors and was not strictly enforced.
As expected, the new Film Industry Promotion Law also imposes heavy fines for distributors and exhibitors engaging in box office fraud; states that cinemas should allocate at least two-thirds of their screening times to domestic productions; and requires actors, directors and other film industry professionals to exhibit “socialist core values”.
The moral values clause follows a series of scandals in the Chinese film industry in which high-profile figures were caught taking drugs or using prostitutes.