From the LA Times 24 Frames blog. Click here for additional film coverage.
Photo: Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in "Titanic." Credit: Paramount Pictures
"Titanic 3D" was an instant box-office hit when it opened in China this week, but audiences there didn't get to see one of the movie's most famous scenes -- Kate Winslet reclining nude as Leonardo DiCaprio paints her portrait.
China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television censored the scene in the new, 3-D version of the film, just as it did in the movie's first theatrical run there in 1998. But because many Chinese fans initially saw pirated versions of "Titanic," many were familiar with the scene and chagrined by the omission.
"I've been waiting almost 15 years, and not for the 3-D icebergs," said one disappointed moviegoer in a widely circulated microblog post quoted by China Daily.
Pleasing Chinese audiences is increasingly important for movie studios, as the country has become one of the leading foreign markets for Hollywood films.
When "Titanic" was released in China 14 years ago, the movie played in only 180 theaters. This week, "Titanic 3D" was screened in 3,500 locations in the country.
On its opening day Tuesday in China, "Titanic 3D" sold $11.6 million worth of tickets, more than a quarter of the $44 million the original grossed in China during its entire theatrical run.