‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Makes Third Place Start in China Cinemas Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the first Marvel franchise film to be released in mainland China in three years, had a quiet opening in Chinese theaters.

The film debuted on Tuesday and earned $3.47 million, according to ticketing agency Maoyan. It represented a 17% market share and ranked third behind China-produced box office leaders “The Wandering Earth II” and historical action drama “Full River Red.”

Based on social media activity, ticket purchases and pre-sales for the following days, Maoyan released a forecast that the film will enjoy a lifetime gross of RMB118 million ($17.3 million) in China. Predictions are subject to significant change in the first few days of a film’s career and can be changed upwards or downwards.

The predicted career seems anemic compared to the score achieved by the first “Black Panther” film, which was released in China in March 2018 and grossed $105 million. But given the two-month gap since the film’s release in the rest of the world, a short period to market the film in China and an unusual Tuesday release, the numbers are probably considered satisfactory.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummania” opens later this month.

These are the first Marvel Studios films to be released in mainland China since “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Titles such as “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and “Thor: Love and Thunder” have not been released.

Chinese officials have not officially explained the Marvel ban, and it has been confused with COVID restrictions and the ongoing Cold War with the U.S., which has already slowed imports of Hollywood and American independent films.

While Disney, due to its massive theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong, is generally seen as a warmonger for China, commentators have been able to identify several political red lines that the Marvel films have crossed. what will happen.

These include the allegedly racist portrayal of a Chinese character in “Shang-chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” past interviews with “Eternals” director Chloe Zhao critical of China, and Tibet. The position taken by “Doctor Strange in”. The Multiverse of Madness” stars Benedict Cumberbatch.

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