The Force Awakens late in China: Why the latest Star Wars Film is Coming to Chinese Theaters in 2016

In a theater far, far away, some Star Wars fans are anxiously awaiting the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” while avoiding spoilers on the dark side of social media.

That is what light-saber wielding fans in China are facing.

In China, the ruling Communist Party decides which foreign films are shown, as well as their release dates and theater runs. Beijing designated January 9, 2016, as the release date for the latest Star Wars film.

The Chinese government has never disclosed what factors influence their decisions on incorporating foreign flicks into its film industry

However, some believe Beijing chose to release the latest Star Wars film in 2016 because it had already met its quota on foreign films for the year.

China also tries to regulate the industry in a way that would have domestic films dominate the box office. Releasing Star Wars this month may have pushed ticket sales in favor of the American market.

Still, that didn’t stop the distributor of the latest Star Wars film from pushing its force onto the Chinese market.

During one event, Disney even sent 500 Storm Troopers to the Great Wall of China. It also made Lu Han, known as the Justin Bieber of China, a “Star Wars ambassador”

Like other major studios, Disney relies on China to make significant profits. Universal Pictures’ “Furious 7,” starring Vin Diesel, earned more money in China than it did in the United States. Robert Downey Jr., who topped Forbes’ list of highest-paid actors, can attribute most of those earnings to how well “Avengers: Age of Ultron” did in China.

In fact, many industry experts say China will become the world’s largest film market within the next few years.

It is yet to be revealed how well “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will do in China. In fact, the last three didn’t do so well.

Until then, however, spoil you must not..

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