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Tarantino's 'Django' unchained in China
By Xu Wei

QUENTIN Tarantino's Oscar-winning "Django Unchained" returned to Chinese screens yesterday, about a month after it was pulled for unspecified "technical reasons."

Nude scenes are believed to have been cut and the original 165-minute movie is now 162 minutes long.

The month's delay didn't help at the box office. Guo Ying, an official with Shanghai United Cinema Lines, the city's largest chain, said the film had taken in just 100,000 yuan (US$15,800).

"It is not a good screening slot," Guo said. "The movie has to face strong competition from two Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters with stunning visual effects - 'Iron Man 3' and 'Oblivion'."

A cinema in the city's Xujiahui area sold around 7,000 yuan worth of tickets for the film yesterday, compared to ticket sales of 130,000 yuan for "Iron Man 3" and 50,000 yuan for "Oblivion."

The cinema manager, who asked not to be named, said the low ticket sales came as no surprise. Tarantino's movies, with their scenes of sex, bloodshed and carnage, would not be the first choice for the majority of cinema-goers, she said.

Also, since the suspension, a lot of movie fans have seen the film on DVD or online.

The film was released in China on April 11 but was halted one minute after the screenings began for "technical reasons," according to the film's distributors.

The suspension order, by the movie's importer, China Film Group Corp, led to speculation the film had fallen foul of censors despite weeks of promotion.

Some violent scenes were said to have already been cut before the film was cleared by China's censors.

"Django Unchained" stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a plantation owner and Jamie Foxx as a freed slave who sets out to win his wife's freedom.

At the 85th Academy Awards the film received best original screenplay award for Tarantino and best supporting actor award for Christoph Waltz.

Earlier this year, the James Bond movie "Skyfall" that screened in China had been stripped of references to the sex trade in the Chinese territory of Macau and the shooting of a security guard in Shanghai, the Associated Press reported.

Then "Cloud Atlas" was shown minus 38 minutes that included gay and straight love scenes.

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