Movie Quotas (why Star Wars was late in China)

Because of China’s 30 imported movies a year quota was filled by the time the long anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens appeared in North American theaters, I had to wait with bated breath to see the movie when it came out on January 9. This actually involved fewer spoiler avoidance techniques than I expected. But I finally got to see the movie on January 10th with a number of friends.

China went all out to market this movie, a huge contrast to forty years ago when the first movie was released (and subsequently banned). China still adheres strictly to its foreign movie quota, and is pretty finicky about what it will let in. Last year, a week before the third Hunger Games movie was set to release, China suddenly pushed back the release date indefinitely, only to release an edited version of the movie for less than a week five months later. Thankfully, the new Star Wars has not suffered the same fate, and ended up doing extremely well at the Chinese box office. Here’s to a beloved franchise finally making its way to China!



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