The violent film about slavery was pulled from Chinese theaters for "technical problem" after censors had already cleared the film by pulling some of its violence, sex and political content.
The suspension on a the day of a film's premiere is unusual.
The Chinese branch of film distributor Sony Pictures has refused to comment.
Tian Zaixing, general manager of the Beichen Fortune Center movie theater in Kunming told the AP "we were excited about the film... We had had high expectations for this film's box office."
Tian said he couldn't recall this happening before and added "this means we might not be able to meet our box-office goal for the year."