Black Adam’s China release has been cancelled! The movie’s been banned from a theatrical release in China, which is a huge blow to the movie’s and DC Studios’ box office hopes. This will also be a huge blow to Warner Bros Discovery’s executives and its CEO, David Zaslav who would have been hoping for big box office returns from the Chinese market.
The film, widely tipped to need China to gross a significant profit after a less-than-underwhelming performance in the United States, will not get a chance in that market. It’s been alleged that the movie has been banned from being released in China thanks to none other than Pierce Brosnan (via Reddit). I know! It sounds crazy to us as well. However, there has been footage of the former 007 actor sporting the Dalai Lama’s insignia in recent posts on social media.
Black Adam China release has been cancelled!
So, it would seem as though Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam is yet another Hollywood movie that will be added to the list of films that have been banned from being released in China. They have very strict rules when it comes to foreign films. Only a handful of non-Chinese movies can be released in the territory.
The ones that end up being released must adhere to their very strict rules and guidelines. Movies that even want to have a chance of being released in China can’t, for instance, have any references to the Devil, and they cannot have ghosts or spirits in them. They are very strict about that.
Foreign films can formally only be distributed in China through one of two centralised state-owned enterprises, and are imported as either one of a limited quota of 34 “revenue-share” films, for which the studio gets a cut of the box office, or on “flat fee” (aka “buy-out”) terms. The China rights are licensed for a lump sum by a local firm that then takes on the risks and reaps the rewards of getting the work through censorship. See, it’s not easy to get your movie released in China if it’s not a Chinese-backed film.
China is a difficult market to get your movie released in
Films that weren’t able to be released in China recently include the likes of The Batman, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. However, a lot of these movies ended up doing very well at the box office, and it begs the question, does Hollywood even need China anymore?
Even though Hollywood studios only end up getting a relatively small cut of the profit a movie makes in China, not being released in the country means you cannot access over one billion people. This means that a lot of money is left on the table, and Black Adam really needs that cash.
What do you make of the news? Are you as shocked as we were to hear that Black Adam wouldn’t be released in China after all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
What do you make of this story? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages! And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out our podcast, The Small Screen Podcast, wherever you get your podcasts!