Marvel's 'Wakanda Forever' to not be released in China: analysis – Business Insider

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” earned $331 million at the global box office over the weekend, including $181 million in the US. 
But once again, the Marvel movie’s total didn’t include China, the No. 2 biggest film market in the world and a once essential box-office region for Hollywood blockbusters.
China’s film officials have been extra stingy about granting Marvel movies release dates during the pandemic. The last seven Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies have been shut out of the country, meaning the last one to open there was “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in 2019.
The reasons vary for Marvel’s absence from China, but it largely has to do with political and cultural sensitivities. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” for instance, wasn’t approved by China’s film censors because of LGBTQ+ themes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 
Similarly, “Wakanda Forever” didn’t get past the film regulators because of a brief depiction of a same-sex relationship between two female characters, THR reported.
It’s been a big hit to the movies’ total grosses, considering the MCU has performed well in China. “Avengers: Endgame” is still the biggest Hollywood release there of all time.
Marvel movies are still some of the biggest movies being released right now. But “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was just shy of $1 billion and might have crossed that coveted barrier with a China release. “Love and Thunder” topped its predecessor “Thor: Ragnarok” at the US box office but not in total global sales.
The MCU isn’t the only franchise to be impacted during the pandemic. DC’s “Black Adam” was denied a China release, as well. The movie is poised to top out around $400 million worldwide, a far cry from what the $200 million production needed to be a hit.
Sony’s own Marvel movies, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and “Morbius,” also didn’t get in.
But China’s movie priorities have also changed drastically over the last two-plus years, and there’s no telling how these would have performed today. 
Local productions have driven much of China’s box office during the pandemic, including “The Battle of Lake Changjin” and “Hi, Mom,” were the No. 2 and No. 3 highest-grossing movies in the world last year.
China’s film administration has made it a goal in its five-year plan for at least 55% of the country’s box office in a given year be from local movies.
The few Hollywood releases to make it to China this year haven’t fare well. DC’s “The Batman” earned just $25 million there (though it opened amid new coronavirus-related lockdowns). Sony’s “Uncharted” made $18 million.
“Jurassic World: Dominion” has been the exception, grossing $158 million in China earlier this year — but that’s still down from “Jurassic World’s” $229 million and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s” $261 million.
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