China has become the latest country of many to ban Noah from cinema release on religious grounds, joining Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates in their refusal to release the biblical movie.
Despite the movie’s blockbuster success in many other countries, currently grossing at $300 million worldwide, the movie starring Russell Crowe will miss out on a colossal profit from the Chinese box office.
The movie has been banned in many Muslim countries due to their sensitivity to religious issues and has been widely criticised for favouring special effects over the true value of the biblical story. Paramount were forced to put an artistic disclaimer on the movie following mass complaint that the essence of the story had been ruined. However, it is possible that China may have blocked the movie for commercial reasons but are disguising it behind religious grounds. Only 34 foreign films are allowed to be released in China per year, and with massive upcoming movies such as Godzilla and Spider-Man 2, it may be a case that Noah just didn’t make it through censorship to allow room for other upcoming blockbusters.
Despite this setback, Noah is director Darren Aronofsky’s highest grossing movie to date.