‘Annihilation’ Debuts in China With Content Warning

Netizens hope this is another step toward establishing a film rating system.

Left to right: Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in ANNIHILATION, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Hollywood sci-fi horror movie “Annihilation” premiered at Chinese mainland cinemas on Friday as the second film to be given a mandatory age restriction warning — suggesting the country may be closer to instituting a rating system.

China has never had an official film rating system, though critics and armchair commentators have lobbied for years for one to be implemented so that films appropriate for mature audiences can secure official approval to screen.

The country’s film industry promotion law, which was passed in November 2016 and came into effect in March 2017, requires production and distribution companies to alert audiences to content that may result in physical or mental discomfort. Last year’s “Logan,” the latest installment in the X-Men Wolverine franchise, was the first film to carry such a warning — even after China’s media supervisor demanded significant cuts. But the warning still falls short of an official rating.

Directed by British filmmaker Alex Garland, “Annihilation” tells the story of a group of scientists exploring a quarantine zone full of mutated creatures. On Chinese review site Douban, the film averaged a score of 7.3 out of 10 from over 50,000 ratings. By Friday afternoon, it had earned over 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) — far behind the first-day takings of “Rampage,” a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson action flick that premiered in China the same day. Continue to read the full article here.


This is original content by Sixth Tone and has been republished with permission.