Marvel’s superheroes returned to the big screen in China on Tuesday after nearly four years away with the movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The films of Marvel Studios, owned by the American giant Disney, had disappeared from Chinese cinemas after the July 2019 release of Spider-Man: Far from Home. -foreign films. For Marvel’s immensely popular mega-productions in the Asian country, this market is crucial: the release in Chinese cinemas of the first film in the Black Panther series generated $ 105 million. “I’m very excited,” said a female spectator queuing Monday night in Shanghai for the film’s premiere, scheduled for midnight. “I had to use the streaming sites to watch the previous two films […] but I hope I can watch Marvel movies more often in theaters from now on,” she added, giving only her last name, Chen. The end of this apparent blockage of Marvel movies in China comes as the country has just lifted its anti-Covid-19 health restrictions which have dealt a severe blow to entertainment venues in the country. “Because of the Covid-19, it’s been a really long time since we went to the cinema,” said Kun, 25, a hospital worker, who came to see the film with friends. “We have to work tomorrow but the opportunity is so rare that we came.” Lin Fan, who came with her 13-year-old son, Jiang Xiaoyi, is delighted to reconnect with a family tradition: “(Xiaoyi) has always been a fan of Marvel, and during the Avengers series, we always went to see the premiere at midnight. .”Also see on KonbiniNext step for Chinese fans: the February 17 release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Chinese authorities have never explained why Marvel films suddenly disappeared from screens since 2019. During this period, Disney refused to obey censors who demanded the removal of all references to homosexual relationships in Marvel films, including Les Eternals in 2021 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022. But the American giant has also been accused of collaborating too much with Beijing. Calls for a boycott, especially in the West, had been launched against its new version of Mulan because certain scenes had filmed in the Xinjiang region, long hit by deadly attacks and where the Chinese security campaign is accused of violating the human rights of the Muslim population. Two episodes of The Simpsons have meanwhile been removed from the Disney+ streaming service in Hong Kong: one referred to the crackdown on the 1989 Tian’anmen protests and the other referred to “forced labor camps”. in China.
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