"It's a good way for the government to know the American film company is eager to participate with the Chinese in the making of the movie," a producer working on the film told The Hollywood Reporter.
Aside from annoying Chinese audiences, critics have raised other concerns with these efforts, particularly when they are directed at placating Chinese state regulators.
"[D]eals like this are slowly but surely making Hollywood become more and more of an accomplice in promoting the official version of the Chinese government on things relating to China and the Chinese," an entertainment litigation attorney told FoxNews.com.
University of Southern California political science professor Stanley Rosen adds, "Hollywood wants the bottom line, to make money to penetrate the Chinese market. And China wants to promote its soft power," referring to the tactics the Chinese government will use to protect and promote its image.
In late 1997 – when China's box office had roughly the same size output as Peru's for America — China banned for some time three studios for films that it considered offensive to the country: Touchstone/Disney for "Kundun," Columbia/Tristair for "Seven Years in Tibet," and MGM for "Red Corner."
"Both sides have learned a lot since then, and China is strong enough to punish people," Rosen says.
Tibet activists have become among this trend's harshest critics, with Alistair Currie of the organization Free Tibet telling the Guardian, "Every time a movie shows skyscrapers in Shanghai instead of secret police arresting people, China has scored another propaganda victory."
Those working to make movies appealing to the Chinese market say cases where Chinese viewers were turned off by obvious nods to their country like "Iron Man 3" (which still made $121 million in China) and "Looper" are exceptions.
"The possibility of it happening is there if the efforts are especially clunky," says Peter Shiao, chair of the U.S.-China Film Summit and founder and CEO of the Los Angeles-based Orb Media Group, which works to develop content appealing for both U.S. and Chinese markets
"What I'm seeing is a more practiced approach where people are really trying to not pander, but tell better stories," he says. He adds that making the casts of Hollywood movies more diverse, which includes more Chinese actors, is just good business sense.
"I think the moment you see more Chinese faces on the screen, the sensitivity to being villains" –a la "Red Dawn" – "goes away."
While outsiders and even Chinese audiences may be turned off by Hollywood's efforts to reach Chinese screens, those in charge of making those decisions haven't yet seen the downsides: "From their point of view it's a win-win situation," Rosen says.