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The blackout is sometimes framed as an ideologically driven piece of regulation, but its existence is likely linked to more pragmatic thinking.
That could include giving China-made films more of a chance to be seen, according to Felicia Chan, a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester.
The state-backed "The Founding of an Army" ー a historical epic set in 1927 about events that led to founding of the PLA ー was described in glowing terms by Xinhua as an inspiration to local youth across the country.
The film is the final installment of the "Founding of New China" trilogy.
The appeal of the market centers on a shift in behavior in the world's second-largest economy.
Profit distribution is one of those issues: Foreign studios face the prospect of receiving less than their fair share of revenues if Chinese cinemas aren't upfront in reporting their box office hauls.
"It's less a matter of government policy and more of (business) negotiation," Cavender said.
Data from research firm Ent Group showed that local titles like "Wolf Warrior 2," "The Founding of an Army" and "Brotherhood of Blades 2" dominated the Chinese box office in the week that ended on July 30.
The only Hollywood film on the top-grossing list is "Despicable Me 3," which had been released in China on July 7, likely before the blackout on foreign film releases began.