China lets Marvel movies back in, sets dates for Black Panther, Ant-Man sequels

By Reuters   January 17, 2023 | 04:39 pm PT
China lets Marvel movies back in, sets dates for Black Panther, Ant-Man sequels
Cast member Lupita Nyong'o attends the premiere of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever", in London, Britain November 3, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Toby Melville
Walt Disney Co's Marvel Studios on Tuesday announced February release dates for "Black Panther" and "Ant-Man" sequels in China, marking the first time in nearly four years that the country has allowed Marvel movies into its cinemas.

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" will arrive in Chinese theaters on Feb. 7 followed by "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" on Feb. 17, Marvel announced on Chinese social media network Weibo.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," the third movie about the superhero who can shrink to the size of an insect, will premiere the same day in China as it does in the United States. "Wakanda: Forever," the sequel to 2018's blockbuster hit "Black Panther," debuted in global theaters in November.

The loss of the Chinese market in recent years cost Disney tens of millions of dollars. The first "Black Panther" took in $105 million at Chinese theaters, while the second "Ant-Man" movie generated $121 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

The February releases will be the first Marvel films to play in Chinese theaters since "Spider-Man: Far from Home" in July 2019.

Chinese officials never explained why they did not allow other movies including "Eternals" and "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" to play in the country.

Disney has refused requests from some countries to edit movies such as "Eternals" and "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness" to remove references to same-sex relationships.

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