China Resumes Marvel Movie Exhibitions After 3-Year Hiatus
Marvel Adds Black Panther and Ant-Man to Chinese Cinematic Universe After Three-Year Ban
After a three-year unofficial ban on films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Chinese cinemas, the official Marvel Weibo account on Tuesday night posted posters of the films ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” with their release dates for Chinese moviegoers.
The Ant-Man movie, considered essential to the plot and which is the starting point of the so-called “Phase 5” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (UCM), will be released on February 17 in line with the international release date, while Black Panther will be unveiled on February 7, four months after it hit international billboards in November 2022.
Before the unofficial ban started coinciding with the “zero-covid” policy implemented in China during the pandemic and lifted on January 8, the UCM productions met with enthusiastic response from Chinese audiences.
The official reason for the ban was never revealed but authorities may have been displeased with some cast members’ criticism of Chinese policies, stereotypes of the Chinese culture in some of the movies, or even an LGBT scene in some of the footage.
Before the ban, titles like “The Eternals”, “Thor: Love and Thunder”, and “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” never received permission to screen in Chinese theaters.
The Ant-Man and Black Panther prequels grossed $121.2 million and $98.9 million respectively in the Asian giant’s cinemas while “Avengers: Endgame” stands out with the record $623.3 million it earned in China.
The news of the releases of these two titles in Chinese cinemas arrives when Avatar: The Way of Water has already grossed more than $200 million in the country.
Beijing limits the number of foreign films shown in Chinese theaters using a quota system that only allows 34 productions to be shown per year, excluding co-productions.