‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Becomes Sixth Film to Exceed 2016 Box Office Quota

Fewer than 30 seconds of Mel Gibson’s war movie were cut in order to gain approval for the December release.


Mel Gibson’s war epic Hacksaw Ridge (血战钢锯岭) has secured a theatrical release in China on Thursday, December 8, the latest Hollywood film to secure a slot in the last couple of months of 2016.

The announcement pushes up the number of Hollywood films released in China on revenue-sharing terms to about 40, or six films over what is normally a cutoff point for imported films.

December is normally a “blackout period” for foreign films, but goosing the annual box office stats has suddenly become more important than protecting local films.

Box office growth for the year slowed to just 4.7 percent by the end of October – a pretty marked slowdown when you compare it to 2015’s jaw-dropping 48 percent growth rate.

Hacksaw tells the true story of Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon. Some cuts have been made to the film which is rated R in the United States, according to Beijing News. Fewer than 30 seconds of the film had been cut, the newspaper cited Bliss Media CEO Han Wei as saying.

“The relevant department didn’t demand any cuts from the final version we submitted,” the CEO is said. “All the battle scenes will be shown except for some minor tweaks. Local audiences will pretty much be able to see the complete version.”

The war epic hits screens a week after another World War II film, Allied (间谍同盟), which stars Brad Pitt, is due to hit screens. Allied was originally meant to have a day-and-date release on November 23, but was subsequently pushed back to November 30.

Pitt is in Shanghai at the moment promoting the Robert Zemeckis-directed film that also stars Marion Cotillard. The visit marks his first promotional appearance ever for one of Pitt’s own films.

Meanwhile, Deepwater Horizon (深海浩劫), Lionsgate’s disaster drama, is hitting screens Wednesday, November 15. Disney’s Moana (海洋奇缘) and Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (神奇动物在哪里) are out on November 25 followed by Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (佩小姐的奇幻城堡) on December 2.

— This article previously appeared on the Beijinger.