China lifted the ban on Marvel movies
China lifted the ban on Marvel movies after almost four years...
Photo Credits: Shutterstock
China has lifted its embargo on Marvel films, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania will be the first to be aired following a three-and-a-half-year hiatus that cost Disney hundreds of millions of dollars.
The movie will be released in February, following the Chinese New Year, and will be Marvel's first in the world's second-largest cinema market since Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Foreign films are accepted or rejected by the China Film Administration (CFA), a propaganda branch of the Chinese Communist Party.
According to The Guardian, the CFA often prohibits the exhibition of foreign films in order to maintain censorship and safeguard the native film industry.
The CFA has never explained why Marvel films have been blocked since mid-2019, but analysts have speculated on a variety of factors, including the presence of LGBTQ+ characters and symbols of American patriotism, such as the Statue of Liberty, the hiring of Eternals director Chloé Zhao, who has been chastised for her comments about her country in interviews, and the growing political tension between the US and China.
Marvel films have previously performed well in China, with the first Black Panther earning $105 million in 2018, and Ant-Man and the Wasp earned $121.2 million in the same year.
However, as of 2019, the following films have been rejected: Black Widow, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder.
With Avatar: The Way of Water, which was cleared for release during the Chinese New Year vacation, which is generally designated for domestic films alone, there have been recent signals that China is warming up to Hollywood. Avatar: The Way of Water has grossed $220 million in China thus far.
In 2022, it was claimed that Spider-Man: No Way Home was rejected when the CFA requested that the Statue of Liberty be removed from scenes that they thought too "patriotic," which the studio refused.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was apparently denied due to a character with two lesbian mothers and a scenario involving a newsstand with Chinese letters for the Epoch Times, a Communist Party-critical tabloid.
The re-release of Marvel films in Chinese theaters coincides with efforts to repair relations between the United States and China, as well as other indications that the Chinese government is changing its stance toward the private sector.
The government appears to be slowing down its attack on the IT sector as it seeks to rescue China's flagging economy. Didi, the ride-hailing business that was forced to delist from the New York Stock Exchange last year, was allowed to continue accepting new users this week.
Authorities have also resumed approvals for new video game sales on Chinese platforms and begun purchasing holdings in Alibaba and Tencent, solidifying government control but also signaling a return to stability.
The Chinese government has also relaxed tight covid controls on citizens, allowing for more freedom in domestic and foreign travel, as well as social activities. Political control over the populace and strong censorship, however, exist.
Post by Bryan C.