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October 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Several news reports on Monday took note of the fact that Sony’s Looper earned slightly more money in China over the weekend than it did in the U.S. Today (Tuesday) Britain’s Guardian newspaper disclosed that the film might not have opened in China at all had writer-director Rian Johnson not been willing to change the locale of the story from Paris to Shanghai. His agreement to do so, according to the newspaper, opened the door to Chinese co-financing and thereby allowed the film to escape the quota on foreign films that prevents many U.S. productions from being released in the world’s largest nation. “I’m thrilled the movie did so well in China. I don’t think any of us expected those kind of numbers. It’s fascinating to watch that market emerge and crazy to suddenly be part of the story,” Johnson told the Guardian. He insisted that shifting the locale from Paris to Shanghai did not represent a creative sell-out but actually “gave us production value we’d never dream of. … In many ways Shanghai was a more natural setting for a sci-fi movie than my beloved Paris.”