Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino's smash hit movie Django Unchained has been pulled from Chinese theaters on its first day of release.
Tarantino's violent slave-revenge saga is the first of his films to be released in China as his previous offerings, including Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds, were banned due to their gory and gruesome content.
The Oscar winning director even edited the film's violence to meet the country's stern censure rules. The film had some "slight adjustments" according to Zhang Miao, director of Sony Pictures' Chinese branch.
In a statement obtained by Britain's The Independent, he says, "What we call bloodshed and violence is just a means of serving the purpose of the film, and these slight adjustments will not affect the basic quality of the film - such as tuning the blood to a darker color, or lowering the height of the splatter of blood."
"Quentin knew how to adjust that, and it's necessary that he is the one to do it. You can give him suggestions, but it must be him who does (the editing). This adjustment for him is progress rather than a compromise."
Nonetheless, all screenings of the movie, which was released on Thursday, have now been cancelled, according to Chinese news and entertainment website Sina.com. Local reports from the communist nation suggest the screenings have been suspended due to "technical reasons."
According to witnesses, a few screenings were already underway when theaters owners got the call to stop the film and send everyone home.