Ok, this is weird. Instead of the by now expected "Christians will be offended" reasoning behind the decisions of various nations not to exhibitThe Da Vinci Code, the movie, which was released in Chinese theaters on May 19, has suddenly been pulled without explanation, effective tomorrow. Among people familiar with the treatment of foreign releases in China, it's believed that this is the first time a foreign film has been approved for release there (each movie has to be examined by a censorship board before it's exhibited) only to find itself yanked from screens a few weeks later.

One possible reason provided for the movie's withdrawal is that it's being done to make room for domestic features in theaters this weekend, but since the release of Ice Age 2 seems to be going ahead as planned, that explanation is dubious at best. An unofficial spokesperson for the Chinese Film Bureau (identified by the AP as "a man who answered the phone" -- we're talking very, very unofficial) indicated that the he wasn't actually even sure the film had been pulled (it has). Like I said -- weird.

In its nearly three weeks of release, The Da Vinci Code made about $13 million, making it the second-biggest foreign earner ever at the Chinese box office (in first place is Titanic, with an obscene $45 million).
categories Movies, Cinematical