Alien: Covenant has yet to release theatrically in China (June 16th) but already we're hearing that the film has undergone some significant cuts before it's considered acceptable for Chinese audiences. This, I might add is further cuts in addition to the 20 minutes of footage which was already cut from the film for its European and North American debuts.
Early screening reactions from China have confirmed that the majority of the cut sequences involve a lot of the Alien footage and its associated gory scenes with the Covenant crew. No doubt, Alien: Covenant did not shy away from showing a little blood - but it would seem nearly all of these graphic sequences have been completely removed.
On a Baidu message board, one viewer who attended an advance screening called the censored version “extremely frustrating” to watch, estimating that the film’s monsters are only shown on screen for a total of “one to two minutes.”
The poster said the “distinct” cuts are most noticeable in two scenes in the film’s second half, explaining that all gory images of aliens covered in blood have been removed as have scenes in which humans are attacked.
One scene from Alien: Covenant that involves a “broken back” has been changed so that “in the China version you can only see the scared expressions of the people outside the door.
Although these kinds of edits are not uncommon for graphic films of this nature in China, removing significant amounts of Alien footage from the film will undoubtedly negatively affect peoples' reactions to it and may hinder its box office earnings.
Alien: Covenant currently sits at $176,910,529 at the worldwide box office. We're hoping its international release in both China and Japan can help bolster these numbers high enough to guarantee that sequel Ridley Scott plans to start filming within a year.
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