Black Adam and Black Panther 2 Probably Won’t Get Released in China
Although China has one of the biggest movie marketplaces in the world, its government is notorious for excluding Hollywood films over spurious reasons. Because of this, Western nations have repeatedly criticized its censorship practices. Studios have also pulled their films from Chinese theaters entirely rather than kowtow to the government’s demands. Now, we can officially add Black Adam and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to this list. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Marvel and DC’s latest films are unlikely to get released in the Middle Kingdom.
This latest news isn’t exactly surprising, given the country’s increasingly strict censorship guidelines and COVID-19 policies. But it effectively guarantees that Black Adam and Wakanda Forever won’t earn as much as earlier MCU and DCEU entries.
When it comes to big blockbusters, especially superhero movies, China usually contributes large sums of money to worldwide box office totals. For example, the original Black Panther made $105 million in China in 2018. Dwayne Johnson, the star of Black Adam, has a demonstrable following in China as well. THR notes that many of his films have been big earners overseas, including Skyscraper ($98 million) and Hobbs & Shaw ($201 million).
Marvel hasn’t released a new film in China since Spider-Man: Far From Home bowed in 2019. In fact, none of the studio’s recent MCU installments have made it past the country’s review board. Both Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals allegedly got blocked over past comments made by Simu Liu and director Chloé Zhao, which were interpreted as critical of the Chinese government. Similar reports claim that China refused to screen Spider-Man: No Way Home due to its prominent use of the Statue of Liberty.
The Chinese government also famously takes a hardline stance against homosexuality. This could be why Wakanda Forever isn’t hitting theaters there anytime soon, since the film includes two openly gay characters. However, the reason for Black Adam’s embargo apparently lies with Pierce Brosnan, who plays Kent Nelson/Doctor Fate. Earlier this year, Brosnan posted a 19-year-old photo on Instagram that showed his family posing with the Dalai Lama. And because China views the spiritual leader as a “dangerous separatist,” this may have angered the local politicians. Of course, Chinese regulators usually don’t give explanations for their bans, so this is all speculation at best.
Black Adam and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are now playing in theaters.
How do you feel about China refusing to screen the films? Let us know in the comment section below!
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