Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was released in theatres everywhere on November 11, and with its release came a wave of positive reviews. Fans and critics alike have come to a combined conclusion that the movie is everything a sequel is expected to be. With an 84% Rotten Tomatoes score, the movie has taken the Marvel Cinematic Universe out of its recent slump.
However, Wakanda Forever’s release did not come without problems of its own. From pandemic restrictions to actress Letitia Wright’s accident causing a halt in production, the movie had its own set of challenges to overcome. Even after its release, the Black Panther team does not seem to be getting a break as it faces heavy chances of the movie getting banned in China due to its LGBTQIA+ representation.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Might Be Banned in China
Wakanda Forever saw a brief scene where the Wakandan warrior Aneka played by Michaela Coel and the Dora Milaje member, Ayo played by Florence Kasumba, are seen to be in a romantic relationship.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that owing to this, China has so far refused to release the movie. While the country hasn’t outright banned Wakanda Forever yet, it has refused to grant it a release date. This isn’t the first time China has stopped movies from releasing in the country. MCU’s Thor: Love and Thunder and Pixar’s Lightyear faced a similar fate because of their LGBTQIA+ representation.
Although at a point China was a huge revenue-generator for Marvel movies, recently no movies from the studios have been allowed to release there, starting from Black Widow. Marvel isn’t the only one suffering, though. Their rival superhero world, DCU, also seems to be on China’s radar as Black Adam hasn’t yet been released in the country. According to THR’s sources, both Wakanda Forever and Black Panther have “little chance of winning approval” from China’s censorship committee.
Does Wakanda Forever Need China for Box Office Haul
At one point, releasing films in China meant a huge increase in overall revenue. Avengers: Endgame alone made $629 million when it opened in China. However, Black Panther made $105 million in the country, compared to its domestic earnings of $700 million. This means that Marvel movies are doing quite well for themselves in the United States alone.
After the news of Wakanda Forever’s ban was made public, fans were undoubtedly furious. They took their frustrations to Twitter, where they called out China for being unreasonable. Fans stated that this was clearly an overreaction on China’s part as the LGBTQIA+ scene in question lasted only for a few moments. They further added that Marvel does not need China for its movies to perform at the box office, just like Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness made a whopping $760 million without a release in China.
Let it be known that this is over a forehead kiss. I can’t think of a bigger overreaction
— forever. (@h0met0wnher0) November 11, 2022
Spider-man did $1,906 Billion ,Multiverse of Madness did $955,8 million and Love and Thunder did $760,7 Million all without China.
— timothy osborne (@TimothyBOsborne) November 11, 2022
The scene was quite literally 4 seconds long 😭
— Naj (@ZeldasRequiem) November 11, 2022
Dude it was LITERALLY just two or three words during a transition sequence almost at the end of the movie. It was also the mildest inclusive stuff you could get from a modern movie. Don't see any particular problem with it.
— Bruno (@Brunog198) November 11, 2022
I mean…. Had to think Disney saw this coming and didn’t care.
More and more films are missing the Chinese market and still doing well enough to make a solid profit for the studio
— Patrick Wrye (@patrickwrye) November 11, 2022
At this point it's bigger news and more surprising when a movie isn't banned in China.
— JMB 💜 (@jmbredux) November 11, 2022
Even though Wakanda Forever not being released in China is upsetting for both fans and the team that worked so hard on it, it is refreshing to see the Marvel Studios hold their ground. While some movies do seem to bow down to pressure, it looks like Marvel won’t be following suit. This is certainly a step in the right direction for a much-needed LGBTQIA+ representation in the industry.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently playing in theatres.
Source: The Direct