Hnetflix: Catering to the global market

Hnetflixby Shane Hnetka

It was recently announced that a special Chinese version of Iron Man 3 will be released in China only while the rest of the world will receive a different cut of the film. This isn’t the first time that this has happened. Last year Looper also had a China exclusive version.

Changing movies for the Chinese market is nothing new. Usually it involves censoring the film to appease the strict censors. The latest James Bond Skyfall had to cut and alter several scenes before it was released there earlier this year. For the film Looper though, something a little different took place. The Chinese distributor that wanted to issue the movie had agreed to fund production in Shanghai for the film. As a result, extra footage that was shot there was included in the Chinese release but cut out of the North American and international versions. And now they are doing something similar with Iron Man 3. Which interesting, considering that the villain for the film is a racist Fu Manchu stereotype in the comics (they’ve changed him to be Ben Kingsley in the film to offend less people).

And that’s not the only film that is getting a China exclusive version with extra footage. Michael Bay’s next venture with the Transformers’ franchise is going to be shot in China with again China helping out on the production so that there will also be a special Chinese cut of Transformers 4.

China is a huge market in terms of global box office sales so I can understand why Hollywood is starting to cater to the market but why stop there? Why not special cut’s of movies for every market. People in Regina will flock to see Regina in a film for a couple of seconds even if it has nothing to do with the movie. Gun fight going on, middle of a random chase and hey there’s our expensive plaza in the background for no reason. Filmmakers could create a special spot in each film to insert that particular territory’s background. It’s a million dollar idea. Not the most artistic idea but after all money is at stake here, not art.

DJANGO UNLEASHED

Quentin Tarantino’s latest and highest grossing film, Django Unchained hits DVD and Blu-Ray on April 16, 2013. There was a rumour that there was a longer cut of the film a month before the movie was actually released but Tarantino stated that he just hadn’t finished editing the film yet. The DVD \ Blu-ray just contains the theatrical cut. As far as extras go it only has a couple of featurettes, one on late production designer J. Michael Riva and one on stunt work. There is no commentary and no deleted scenes. It’s kind of a thin package for a Tarantino film in my opinion. Will there be a more deluxe edition released at a later date? Maybe but not likely. Fans are still waiting for the fabled extended single film release of Kill Bill that has been promised for almost a decade now.