“Aquaman” Kissing Scene Censored in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia

Please note that this article contains spoilers for Aquaman.

Aquaman has been breaking box office records all across the globe, already topping the international numbers of other superhero films such as Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok or Wonder Woman.

Toward the end of the film, Arthur Curry and Princess Mera share a rather lengthy kiss. In the middle of underwater fighting, the camera pans around them kissing for around 20 seconds.

In Indonesia, that moment was cut as multiple people have noted on social media.

“My theater burst out in laughter when that happened because the way it’s cut is so jarring,” said one Indonesian moviegoer.

With regards to Indonesia it’s unclear why the moment was removed, but as the cut is present in various cinemas it was likely done by the State agency Lembaga Sensor Film which is tasked with vetting films shown in the country. Its website lists the film as being 142 minutes long, whereas its uncensored runtime is 143 minutes and 8 seconds.

The cut could have been for various reasons. In Indonesia, films can be rated either SU (suitable for all ages), 13+, 17+ or 21+. It’s possible that either the studio or censors wanted to avoid giving the large blockbuster a rating above 13+. Or it could have been determined that the scene was too graphic altogether. Either way, Indonesian moviegoers will have to do without it.

Others noted that a smaller, shorter kiss between Queen Atlanna and Thomas Curry was included. So it might have been the intensity of the particular underwater kiss between Arthur and Mera that threw LSF’s censors off.

Further, multiple moviegoers report that the kiss is included in Indonesian IMAX theaters, but not in Standard ones. That is likely due to the IMAX version being a completely different file when sent to theaters, which censors had thus failed to edit.

Regardless, Aquaman has been making good money in the Southeast Asian county. So far, it has grossed almost $16 million at the Indonesian box office, making it the third highest grossing international film in Indonesian box office history, only below Avengers: Infinity War (25M) and and The Fate of the Furious (19M).

Indonesia remains a large market for Hollywood blockbusters. With a population of over 250 million and over 600 movie screens, the country is an important box office player.

Last year, rumors were spread of Avengers: Infinity War being heavily censored in Indonesia. However, those rumors turned out false and the film was released without edits.

Avengers: Infinity War was however censored in Saudi Arabia, with moments such as a kiss between Scarlet Witch and Vision being removed. Saudi Arabia, unlike Indonesia, has only recently opened its doors to Hollywood blockbusters after lifting a decade-old cinema ban last year. The first such blockbuster to be screened in Saudi Arabia, Black Panther, also had a kiss removed.

So far Saudi cinemas appear to be a success, as large film exhibitors such as AMC Theaters, IMAX and CJ Group (4DX) are expanding into the kingdom.

Indonesia and Saudi Arabia aren’t the only countries to see Aquaman trimmed in theaters. In the United Kingdom, some “bloody detail” was removed by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to attain a lower age rating.

Follow @martin_samoylov and @rereleasenews on twitter.

Image: Warner Bros.

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