China's latest Despicable Me movie premiered in China Friday. However, the ending was different as viewers in China discovered.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is a story about antihero Gru as he grows up and how he becomes a supervillain later on in the series.
Warning! There may be plot spoilers.
The Chinese version of the movie does not end with Gru riding off to the sunset with Wild Knuckles, his mentor in the original film.
Wild Knuckles is instead in prison, while Gru “becomes a good guy”.
The film was shared via Weibo's Chinese microblogging site. Screenshots and posts of the film were posted. They showed that censors had included a series still images with subtitles to the credits sequence.
They explain how Wild Knuckles was captured and held for 20 years following a failed heist. He also finds a love for acting and starts a theatre troupe.
Gru “returned home to his family” while being a father for his three daughters was his “biggest achievement”.
Many in China resented the change.
One person wrote that “the real story is in the parallel universe.”
Others claimed Gru's alternative ending promoted China's birth rate as China tries to increase its. In quality, the subtitled stills were often compared to PowerPoint slides.
DuSir is a well-known movie blogger who has more than 14,000,000 followers on Weibo. He called the changes “outrageous.”
He asked why only Chinese people need “special guidance” and “care”.
“How weak and lacking in judgment do they think our audience is?” He asked.
The movie, which was the fifth installment in the series, did not disappoint. According to entertainment website Deadline, it made a pandemic record at the box office of 21.74m Yuan ($3.2m; PlayStation2.7m) its first day in China.
This isn't the first time that a popular foreign film's ending has been changed for China. China has some of the strictest censorship laws in the world.
An earlier version of Fight Club, the 1999 American cult film, was released on Chinese streaming site Tencent Video. The original ending featured the protagonist blowing up many skyscrapers. However, the message that the authorities had won the day was removed.
These changes caused a backlash and even prompted responses from director David Fincher, author Chuck Palahniuk, and Chuck Palahniuk who wrote the 1996 novel from which the movie was adapted. Human Rights Watch called the new ending “dystopian.”
Tencent reversed the majority of these changes and only retained some scenes that featured nudity.