‘Thor 4’ released in China in China due to suspicions of LGBTQ censorship – The Hollywood Reporter

Local drama Light up the stars easily won its third weekend in a row at the Chinese box office, selling $27.8 million in tickets for an impressive $186.3 million total and continuing to rise. But the Chinese melodrama, which tells the story of the surprising relationship that forms between a funeral home director and an orphaned girl, doesn’t have much competition in the market – mostly because of god. Marvel’s Thor is completely absent from the action.

China’s film authorities have not granted Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder no release date yet – and it’s starting to look like it’s never going to happen. Sources at two major cinema chains in China said The Hollywood Reporter that they expect Thor 4 will face the same fate as Pixar Light year: Rejected censorship approval because of fleeting moments in the film involving LGBTQ characters.

Beijing’s censors never explain or comment publicly on their decisions, but industry participants inside and outside China will consider such moves carefully and Talk to the authorities to determine where the boundary is. In Light yearThe case of a same-sex kiss involving the character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her co-star is said to have prevented any chance of a release in China, where LGBTQ storytelling is predominantly banned from being shown on the big and small screens (movies are also banned in the Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesia).

Thor 4 similarly reportedly stuck in China’s censorship process for several brief LGBTQ moments, including suggestions that the character Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson) is bisexual and that the character Korg is bisexual. gay (Thor’s passionate affection for his hammer and ax is probably borderline).

Thor: Ragnarok made 112 million dollars in China in 2017, so the loss of the Chinese market will surely die Love and Thundertotal sales worldwide. More important to Disney, however, is that Thor isn’t the only Marvel hero to face the wrath of Chinese censors. After nearly a decade of arguably China’s most beloved Hollywood film franchise, Marvel has seen the last seven Hollywood theatrical films not be released in the country. Industry watchers have theorized about different reasons for why each movie is met with opposition from regulators – but the longer this trend persists, the more it starts to look like a deliberate attempt to tarnish Marvel’s local popularity.

Black Widow was the first Marvel title not to be released in China; some speculated that China delivered the film after Disney released it straight to Disney+ because of the pandemic, while others suggested that the film’s vague depiction of communism through its character. Red guard annoyed the managers.

Oscar-winning Chinese director Chloe Zhao’s the eternal was next to be blocked, in this case because of an old statement by the filmmaker in an interview that was interpreted as criticizing China. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was then expected to suffer a similar fate because of a previous interview that star Simu Liu gave in which he spoke of China as a “third world” country. Spider-Man: There’s no way home is said to have too much of the Statue of Liberty for the liking of the Beijing censors, while Venom: Let There Be Carnage was attacked due to old comments from Tom Hardy deemed racially insensitive towards the Chinese.

Before Thor 4, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness was most recently caught, allegedly featuring the gay character America Chavez and an extremely brief scene showing a pro-Taiwan newspaper on a city magazine kiosk.

Sometimes, Hollywood studios cut quirky characters from their films to appease China’s censors — and reap millions more in box office revenue in the process. 20th Century Fox, before being taken over by Disney, removed all references to Freddie Mercury’s homosexuality from Bohemian Rhapsody to secure an outing in China and the Warner Bros. refers to gay relationships from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore this early year.

However, Disney recently took a stance that it doesn’t remove gay content to appease censors in its theatrical distribution territories. Film studio refuses to cut “gay moment” from live-action Beauty and the Beast in 2017 when Malaysia’s content regulators protested, and it stood firm on Light year in different markets where movies are blocked.

Adding insult to injury in Thor 4In my case, China’s theatrical earnings potential has finally begun to recover in recent weeks after a long period of gloom over COVID shutdowns in major cities. Emperor Motion Pictures’ Crime Thriller Detective Vs. Sleuths second after Light up the stars over the weekend with a launch record of $23.1 million. Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion Meanwhile, it dropped to third place, adding $6.3 million to China’s $144.3 million total.

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