The animated film
The 3-D movie, a sequel to the 2010 hit, has grossed $584 million worldwide. And it has been a huge success overseas, taking in $308 million internationally since rolling out in most territories in early July.
It's not clear why China’s State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) blocked the movie from the country, the second largest film market in the world.
The film from production company Illumination Entertainment, the main supplier of family movies to Universal, centers on the
"It's very unlikely that it is about the content of the film," said Robert Cain, a producer and film consultant who specializes in the Chinese market. "What could 'Despicable Me 2' possibly be doing to threaten people's interests there?"
The original "Despicable Me" film did not get released in China.
Universal has had three of its films shown in China this year: “
Universal's international hit "Fast & Furious 6" is being released in China roughly two months after its U.S. bow.
That could diminish box-office returns for the
Universal's parent company,
Other studios have had their share of issues with the Chinese market.
Cain also speculated that "Despicable Me 2" could have run into another issue: Chinese authorities have decided they aren't interested -- at least for the moment -- in more successful animated films coming from the U.S. He noted the success of
The Los Angeles Times reported in June that the move was interpreted as a way to make room for Chinese animated movies.
"One could speculate that [Chinese authorities] are saying, 'OK, enough American animated movies this summer,'" Cain said. "Animation is an important area for China domestically."
Universal declined to comment.