Wolf of Wall Street Getting Censored in Several Countries

Posted by at 3:43 pm on January 15, 2014

THE WOLF OF WALL STREETSince the film’s release this past Christmas, The Wolf of Wall Street has proven to be a source of controversy.  While it’s a clear winner among critics, Martin Scorsese’s story of excess and greed has wound up on the butt-end of widespread (but not universal) audience condemnation for appearing to glorify the self-indulgent lifestyle enjoyed by protagonist Jordan Belfort and his stock broker cronies at the expense of their fellow man’s well-being. It ends up being a three-hour raunch-fest featuring sex, drugs and 569 variations of the F-word — would face plenty of heat (in the U.S., Scorsese had to make trims to secure an R rating, versus an NC-17).

Red Granite Pictures, the production and financing company that made the $100 million opus, knew going in that the Middle East and parts of Asia might not take too kindly to some of the film’s more decadent scenes. They were right.

Malaysia and Nepal have banned the film in recent days, while some scenes have been cut in the versions playing in India and Lebanon. And in Singapore, Wolf has been relegated to only a handful of theaters because of its ultra-restrictive rating.

“Some of the content in the film makes it difficult in certain territories where they have censorship and can even ban films,” says Christian Mercuri, president of international at Red Granite. “It certainly concerns us that anyone is cutting our film, but every territory is different.” By contrast, he notes, “If you have a highly violent movie, it’s not a problem in the U.S., Asia and the Middle East, but it is a problem in Europe.”

Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Wall Street bad boy Jordan Belfort, hasn’t yet rolled out in much of the world, so it remains to be seen where else there will be resistance. Wolf is doing big business overall in its early run, grossing $80 million domstically and nearly $40 million to date internationally, including north of $17 million in France. It’s also doing eye-popping business in Poland, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Wolf makes a major push into continental Europe on Friday.

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