Shazam Beats Black Adam in China As Fury of the Gods Secures Release


Warner Bros. Discovery’s Black Adam is beaten by the upcoming Shazam! Fury of the Gods when it comes to breaking into Chinese theaters.

The relationship between Hollywood and China appears to be turning around, as the territory begins to allow the likes of Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. Discovery back into theaters. The latest upcoming title to seemingly secure a release is Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

According to the Chinese outlet Global Times, the Shazam! sequel has secured a release, though the exact date is currently unknown. A Chinese poster was shared via the outlet, assuring that the film is coming soon to theaters nationwide.

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What Shazam! Fury of the Gods Means for China

Shazam! Fury of the Gods was able to accomplish something that Black Adam was unable to do in securing a Chinese release date. While no official announcements were made, the DCEU film was never given a release date. Rumors suggested the film was banned after an interview with GQ was published, featuring Pierce Brosnan. In the interview, Brosnan discussed a meeting he once had with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, fleeing the Chinese state.

While 2019’s Shazam! was released in China, the DCEU films following it haven’t all been as successful in the territory. The likes of Wonder Woman 1984 made it into Chinese cinemas, but Birds of Prey, The Suicide Squad and, as mentioned, Black Adam, were all excluded for various reasons, even if they made it through official Chinese censors. It should be noted the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic played a significant role in their exclusion, as well as the major cultural shift that took place in China, encouraging audiences to support domestically produced films and shows, rather than imported projects.

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China and Hollywood’s Struggle

Over the last year, however, the Chinese box office has shrunk in value and many observers predict theaters face bankruptcy. In recent weeks, authorities have granted Marvel Studios projects such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, release dates, seemingly ending an unofficial ban that has lasted three years.

Still, many believe the nationalist approach should remain in China. Shortly after Avatar: The Way of Water was released, Bona Film Group CEO Yu Dong stated, “[Avatar: The Way of Water] is not suitable for Chinese audiences” and went on to encourage audiences to support films such as Wandering Earth sequel, which he predicted would surpass the performance of James Cameron’s epic.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods lands in theaters in the U.S. on March 17.

Source: Global Times, via Twitter

NOTE: Global Times is a state-backed outlet affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party and is recognized as part of the Chinese government’s propaganda apparatus.


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