The image in one scene showed the so-called nine-dash line, a vague and broken outline around the resource-rich waters China claims as its own territory.
Vietnam pulled Dreamworks' new movie, "Abominable", from cinemas because it used a map acknowledging China's claim over the disputed South China Sea, also known as the "nine-dash line". Those claims overlap with claims by Vietnam and other Asian governments, and an worldwide tribunal in 2016 invalidated China's vast claims in a case brought by the Philippines.
The movie is a joint production from DreamWorks and China's Pearl Studio and was released in Vietnam on 4 October, but the country's main cinema franchise CGV said it would no longer show the film after it was notified about the map.
The removal of the movie from Vietnamese cinemas follows a similar incident with "Operation Red Sea", a Chinese movie that was banned past year from being shown Vietnam.
All films in communist Vietnam must be approved by censors who screen for gratuitous violence, suggestive sex scenes or politically-sensitive material.
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Trailers and other associated information for "Abominable" have been removed from the Vietnamese distributors' website and social media channels. Editing the line from the movie might be enough to get the movie back in theaters, and that seems like a simple enough thing to do.
Vietnam's censorship department refused to comment on the issue Monday, and DreamWorks did not respond to a request for comment.
Vietnam's foreign ministry has repeatedly accused the vessel and its escorts of violating its sovereignty and has demanded that China remove its ships from the area.
"It is an insult to Vietnam", said student Minh Hieu, who was looking for a movie to watch on Tuesday afternoon. "And I am absolutely not going to support it".
The Philippines has tempered its once-vocal opposition to China's assertive claims in the disputed sea since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in mid-2016.
China and Vietnam have been locked in a standoff since China dispatched a vessel to conduct an energy survey in waters controlled by Vietnam in early July.