China to pull out Avatar from 2-D screens news
21 January 2010

China is pulling the most successful movie in history from most of theaters much sooner most movie buffs expected. The communist nation has decided to replace the James Cameron-directed blockbuster Avatar from 1,628 2-D screens with a biography of the ancient philosopher Confucius starring Chow-Yun Fat.

Paul Hanneman, co-president of international distribution for the movie's distributor 20th Century Fox, confirmed the news, which came on Monday evening.

A report in the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily says, the move comes at the instance of propaganda officials who voiced concerns about Avatar taking away audiences from Chinese films and drawing attention to the sensitive issue of forced evictions.

Millions of Chinese have been forcibly evicted from their homes and seen them demolished to make way for high rises and government infrastructure projects. ''Nail House'', a term which has gained much currency in China in recent times, refers to homes of dwellers who refuse to leave though they are surrounded by demolished homes. In Avatar, human colonists seek to demolish the village of an alien race in order to obtain a precious resources buried below it.

However, according to Beijing-based media consultancy Wolf Group Asia's David Wolf, the decision has more to do with the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday.

"There are certain windows in the year that are held for domestic films," Wolf said. "We're coming up on Chinese New Year, so this can be expected."

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China to pull out Avatar from 2-D screens