When you look at the run-up into the launch of Marvel’s Ebony Panther in Asia final week-end, pundits warned that the film could only aspire to, at most useful, match Ant-Man’s opening in your community ($43 million). “The themes of many films with mainly black colored casts won’t be of great interest to Chinese audiences, ” USC professor and Asia expert Stanley Rosen pronounced, assuring Deadline that the movie would underperform.
And yet when Black Panther finally made landfall in China, it blew past all predictions, with a $67 million opening—up there with some of Marvel’s long-running, well-established franchises that are cinematic such as Avengers: chronilogical age of Ultron, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
This “surprise” success arrived despite a persistent news narrative with unsightly implications, both for China and Hollywood: That Chinese racism will destroy any window of opportunity for success for a film with black colored leads.
China is currently the world’s second biggest market that is theatrical but this presumption has offered Hollywood a rationale to mostly avoid releasing movies with black colored protagonists here. It has additionally resulted in egregious functions of “decolorization” in exactly just exactly how Hollywood movies are marketed, including Lucasfilm’s choice to reduce John Boyega’s face in Chinese posters for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Continue reading “The tale behind the racist reactions to “Black Panther” in Asia”