How will Black Adam’s reported ban in China impact DC’s future plans?
Doubts have arisen over the possibility of DC’s Dwayne Johnson starrer ‘Black Adam’ releasing in China. Reportedly, film’s cast member Pierce Brosnan is a supporter of the Dalai Lama and China has objections to this. So, China could ban Black Adam’s release in the country.
China is the biggest overseas market for Hollywood movies, If Black Adam will be banned in China, it will be a setback for Black Adam’s distributors. But if we see trends, it is known that China has been blocking Hollywood superhero movies for some reason or the other for the past several years.
Dwayne Johnson’s passion project
As a DC fan, I have been seeing the developments of this film for a while. This film is the passion project of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
He has passionately talked about this in various late-night talk shows.
The film star said that DC comics had been very important in growing up. He wanted to create the universe which he had read for the public, and Black Adam was the beginning of the phase.
This is termed DCEU, DC Extended Universe.
James Gunn and Peter Safran were recently hired to lead Film, TV and Animation Division for DC.
This is also part of the plan to revive the DC universe, as part of their 10 year plan.
Film’s box office
The film was released with mixed to negative reviews. The fans termed it superhero fatigue. Some of the biggest Superhero movies haven’t earned as much as people anticipated.
Quite similar was the case with Black Adam, it topped the box office for the third straight week with low-expected numbers.
The film was made with a budget of $200 million and has earned approx $321 million globally, according to Bussiness Insider. Hence, the return on investment makes it a disappointing outing for the DC, and Warner Bros.
In addition, the film’s momentum will be halted by the much-anticipated Marvel’s Black Panther. With no China release, the numbers will also not climb to desire box office collection Although, there is a sequel in making.
Box office has never really favoured the DC films, except Nolan’s Batman movies. Regardless, fans are excited about DC’s future plans on HBO Max, and Man of Steel 2.
China’s ban history
If China bans Black Adam it will not be the first time. If we look at the last year only, then China has not allowed many Hollywood films to be released here.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness were banned from distribution. China has given many arguments for banning these films, such as the Taiwan flag being shown in Top Gun: Maverick, the objection to the same-sex kiss scene in Lightyear, and now the Black Adam star being a Dalai Lama fan.
In the year 2021, only 20 Hollywood revenue-sharing films were released in China, compared to 31 in 2019. According to the report of Artisan Gateway Consultancy, Hollywood films were earning 48.2% revenue from the Chinese box office till 2012, which declined to 36% in 2016 and 12.3% in 2021.
Movies like Marvel, Black Widow, Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings from Disney, Space Jam: A New Legacy from Warner Bros., and Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home if released in China collectively could have earned hundreds of millions of dollars.
Black Adam is a DC Comics superhero movie. There are fans of DC Movies all over the world who eagerly wait for it. As film markets around the world are trying to emerge after the pandemic, overseas markets have been a good source of income for distributors, so the continuous ban on Hollywood movies in a big market like China is no less than a setback.
The Chinese government is banning US films to promote anti-US sentiments and is giving preference to films made in the country. They are also asking people to boycott US products including films.
Although production houses like Marvel and DC are not ready to give in to the protests in China because despite losing the box office money in China. They’re still raking in dollars in a big way, at least Marvel studios is.
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