Disney meets roadblocks to releasing movies in China

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Three films including ‘Shang-Chi’ and ‘Mulan’ are embroiled in political controversies – Marvel’s ‘Eternal’ is the latest

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The magic kingdom is running into trouble in the Middle Kingdom.

Over the past year or two, three Walt Disney Company films designed for box-office appeal in China have been embroiled in political controversies, complicating a decade of unprecedented market success for the world’s largest entertainment company. Is.

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Marvel film “Eternal” is scheduled for release in early November, but its release in China is uncertain, distribution executives said, after its Chinese director, Oscar winner Chloe Zhao, recently scoffed at comments She told about the country in 2013.

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It follows the unexpected plot twists for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, the first Marvel Studios epic to feature a major Asian superhero, which has yet to hit a single mark since its record-setting global premiere. Haven’t secured the Chinese release. The trouble began when “Mulan” release in 2020, was torpedoed with the revelation that it had sent film crews to a controversial province, with audience complaints about historical inaccuracies.

The production of all three films began at a time when the box-office potential in China was immense. Now they have become evidence of heightened tensions between the industry and Chinese censors, as well as an indication of how much the Chinese response to Western entertainment has changed over the past year.

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Doing business in China means never shying away from Chinese politics, a reality recent events show Disney and the wider entertainment industry are learning again as the world’s theatrical market opens up as COVID-19 rages on. The country went from being largely closed to Western entertainment in the 1990s to the industry’s most important international market.

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