Why ‘Star Wars’ bombs in China again and again
The latest Star Wars movie has raked in more than $175 million in its opening weekend in North America, putting it on course to be one of the top-grossing films of the year. But in China, the blockbuster performed poorly, taking in only $12 million, a fraction of what other Disney franchises, such as the Avengers and Frozen, brought in. This is not the first time Star Wars tanked in the world’s second-biggest film market. When Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, the prequel to this year's movie, opened in China, it had a disappointing first weekend.  The last four Star Wars movies made $250 million in China, which is only a bit better than the $200 million Spider-Man: Far From Home made
Marvel’s Shang-Chi casting ignites racism debate in China
Marvel’s casting of Tony Leung, a beloved Hong Kong star, in the upcoming Shang-Chi film has stirred up an intense online debate in China about racism.  Veteran actor Leung, 57, will play the Mandarin, the villain of the film. Idolized in China, many Chinese fans have questioned Leung’s decision to take this role. The casting was announced by Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, at Comic-Con in San Diego. Some Chinese internet users believe the Mandarin is a similar character to the evil Dr Fu Manchu, a fictional character widely considered racist. Fu was first created by British author Sax Rohmer in 1912. In the Marvel comics, Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu, who was not announced a
Chinese cinema avenges unpaid debts before Endgame premiere
Move over, Thanos. A Chinese city has decided that deadbeats are a more urgent matter to take care of. A court in the eastern Chinese city of Lishui has teamed up with local theaters to make Marvel fans watch a video about bad debtors before they could watch the latest Avengers movie. People who bought tickets to a midnight premiere of Avengers: Endgame on Wednesday in the city in Zhejiang province were first shown a minute-long video shaming 60 “untrustworthy” people who failed to pay their debts. The naming-and-shaming campaign is the local authorities’ answer to Beijing’s call to build a nationwide social credit system that aims to enforce what the state deems correct behavior in the soci
This weird Tom Hiddleston ad casts you as his Chinese wife
A strange vitamin commercial Tom Hiddleston filmed for the Chinese market is blowing up on social media. But the responses to the ad have been vastly different in and out of China. The ad for Centrum multivitamins is shot from the viewpoint of Hiddleston’s female partner: she wakes up to find the actor making her (us) a salad breakfast, before he compliments her, reminds her to take her Centrum supplements, and leaves for work. While many Western audiences have found the video unsettling, this advert has won a wave of praise after it was released on the Chinese internet on Wednesday.   Why so? Here are six reasons that’s made the commercial so successful in China. 1. It’s vertical. The Cent
Hey, Hollywood. We just cast Shang-Chi for you. You’re welcome
The news is out: Marvel is fast-tracking the production of a superhero movie starring Shang-Chi, “Master of Kung Fu.” Hoping to recapture the movie magic (and maybe also the box office gold) of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, the studio is looking to make this an all-Asian superhero flick. It’s already lined up an Asian screenwriter, and is seeking an Asian director to helm the film. One problem remains: who to cast for the role of Shang-Chi himself, the titular Master of Kung Fu? In the olden days, Hollywood would probably have just cast Scarlett Johansson or Emma Stone and called it a day. But in these new, somewhat more woke times, they’ll be looking for a genuinely Asian actor to p
Stan Lee’s final creation was a Chinese superhero
Late comic book legend Stan Lee is known as the force behind Spider-Man, the Hulk and the X-Men, but his final creation was a Chinese female superhero. Just weeks before he passed away on Monday at the age of 95, the comic creator unveiled a new character based on Hong Kong singer Gloria Tang, who goes by her stage name G.E.M. Tentatively named “Jewel,” the character is a world-touring pop star by day and a superhero in disguise by night. But it is unclear whether Lee had decided on her superpowers before he passed away. “Its my honour to have met you and share meetings on your creative and thought process,” Tang said in an Instagram post on Tuesday. “You have been a big big inspiration to t
The Chinese Marvel fans forging Infinity Gauntlets in a DIY workshop
Why watch Marvel movies, when you could live them instead? In the central Chinese city of Xian, the fans at the MakerBeta space have spun fantasy into reality by recreating the weapons used by their favorite Marvel superheroes – from Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet to Wolverine’s retractable claws and Doctor Strange's magical sling ring. Check out our video to find out more.
Avengers: Infinity Photoshop
Avengers: Infinity War opens on Friday in the US. American audiences will see Marvel’s greatest superheroes sprinting towards danger. But in China, they’re sprinting away from the authorities. At least, they are in Weibo user Qinghongzaolegebai’s creative mashups of Chinese street life with Hollywood superheroes and villains.    The 30-something designer and film lover has 3.5 million followers on the Twitter-like platform. His recent series “The chengguan are coming” has gone viral on Weibo. The pictures show Marvel superheroes photoshopped to look like Chinese street traders and food vendors, running away from the chengguan – urban management officers responsible for Chinese cities. The o
Chinese fans swamp Disneytown for Avengers: Infinity War event
Chinese Marvel fans have been left disappointed after a red carpet event for Avengers: Infinity War on the outskirts of Shanghai filled up hours before the film’s stars showed up on Thursday afternoon. The event was held at Disneytown, a shopping area just outside of the Shanghai Disney Resort. The film's producer, Marvel Studios, is owned by Disney.  Organizers struggled to handle the crowds, while fans complained about an exhausting and confusing wait.  On Weibo, a Twitter-like social platform, photos and videos have been circulating since Wednesday evening showing a large crowd at Disneytown with dozens of security officers trying to keep people in order.  Shanghai Disney land today vs th