According to a post and screenshot of the film shared on Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter, the censors worked on an addendum, wherein Wild Knuckles, the main character of the heist film, was caught by police and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Gru, a co-conspirator of the Wild Knuckles, “returns to his family” and “his greatest achievement is being the father of his three girls,” is shown in a screenshot of the film.
In the international version, the film ends with Gru and Wild Knuckles, the story’s two anti-thieves, riding together after Wild Knuckles pretends to be his own death to avoid being captured by the authorities.
Several online commenters scoffed at the addendum, saying it looked like a PowerPoint presentation.
DuSir, an online movie review publisher with 14.4 million followers on Weibo, noted that the Chinese version of the film ran a minute longer than the international version and questioned why the extra minute was needed.
“We are the only ones who need special guidance and care, for fear that a cartoon will ‘corrupt’ us,” Dusser wrote in an article published on Saturday.
Universal Pictures, the film’s US distributor, did not respond to a request for comment outside of normal business hours.
Huaxia Film Distribution Company and China Film Company, the film’s distributors in China, did not respond to requests for comment.
China places a quota on the number of foreign films that can be shown in domestic cinemas. In many Hollywood movies that are screened in the country, some scenes have been omitted or changed.
Sometimes, as some viewers note, the alternate endings of films are far removed from the originals.
Last year, Chinese viewers of the classic 1999 film “Fight Club” noticed that the original ending, in which the protagonist and his alter ego explode a set of skyscrapers, was not on the version shown on the domestic streaming site Tencent Video.
Instead, an onscreen script states that the police “rapidly traced the entire plan and arrested all the perpetrators, successfully preventing the bomb from detonating.”
The changes were widely mocked among Chinese fans of the original film, and even received backlash from the film’s director and the author of the novel on which it was based. Tencent later restored the original ending.