'Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' China Release Pushed Back to January 2015

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Still 7 - H 2014
Courtesy of Lionsgate

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Still 7 - H 2014

Chinese audiences will have to wait see Katniss' struggle against the Capitol as the film is delayed to give domestic movies a better chance to compete

The China release date for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 has been pushed back until January 2015, sources in Beijing said, as film authorities try to balance domestic and foreign box office totals before the year end.

"Transformers: Age of Extinction took more than expected this year, which means the box office is higher for foreign than domestic movies, so The Hunger Games has been pushed back to January," the source told THR.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth star in the film, which hits U.S. theaters on Nov. 22 and was due to bow in China a day earlier, on Nov. 21.

Read more 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1': Film Review

Lionsgate said in September that the third installment in the Hunger Games franchise had been okayed for a dubbed and subtitled release on more than 3,000 screens nationwide by the China Film Group and Beijing-based Talent International Film Co.

It's been a big year for Hollywood in China this year. With a cume of $301 million in mainland China, Transformers: Age of Extinction has skewed the full-year box office figures in Hollywood's favor this year, but there are some domestic heavy hitters still to come which could push things China's way.

They include Jiang Wen's 3D epic Gone With the Bullets, a sequel to 2010's wildly successful Let the Bullets Fly, which is due to open in early December; John Woo's romantic epic The Crossing; and Tsui Hark’s 3D epic The Taking of Tiger Mountain.

However, it was clearly felt that domestic movies needed a clearer playing field toward the end of the year.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan