Officials in China have denied that there is ban on Universal/Illumination’s hugely popular animated feature Despicable Me 2 in the country. Authorities say the reason the movie is not screening in China is because they believe it won’t perform well over there. The first Despicable Me feature also didn’t play in the country.
Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter the supervillain comedy pic had simply never been presented for release. China recently increased the number of foreign films which are allowed to screen each year from around 20 to 34. Among the many rumors circulating about the movie in China is that it failed to get a release because officials believed the Minions bore too much resemblance to Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.
A source at the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told The Hollywood Reporter the local agent Edko (Beijing) Films had simply decided that the movie would not fare well in China, and had therefore refused it one of the 34 spots. To date, Despicable Me 2 has made over $714.967 million worldwide ($328 million Stateside) and has emerged as one of Universal’s most profitable movies of all-time.