Animated film Lightyear not to be screened in 14 countries

The United Arab Emirates on Monday said the film violated the country’s media content standards



Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear

By Reuters

Published: Tue 14 Jun 2022, 7:56 AM

Last updated: Tue 14 Jun 2022, 10:53 PM

Walt Disney Co has been unable to obtain permission to show its new Pixar movie “Lightyear” in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries, a source said on Monday, and the animated film appeared unlikely to open in China, the world’s largest movie market.

A “Lightyear” producer told Reuters that authorities in China had asked for cuts to the movie, which Disney declined to make, and she assumed the movie would not open there either.

The United Arab Emirates on Monday said the film violated the country’s media content standards.

Representatives of other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and Lebanon, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on why they would not allow the film to be exhibited.

“Lightyear” is a prequel to Pixar’s acclaimed “Toy Story” franchise. Chris Evans voices the lead character, Buzz Lightyear, a legendary space ranger.

Disney has not received an answer from Chinese authorities on whether they would allow the film in cinemas, “Lightyear” producer Galyn Susman said. But she said filmmakers would not make changes to the movie.

“We’re not going to cut out anything,” Susman told Reuters at the movie’s red-carpet premiere in London.

China is not a “make or break” market for Pixar, one theatre industry source said. It contributed a mere 3 per cent to the global box office for “Toy Story 4,” which grossed more than $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales in 2019, according to Comscore.

“Lightyear” is set to debut in theatres in the United States and Canada on Friday.

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