When you look at the run-up towards the launch of Marvel’s Ebony Panther in China weekend that is last pundits warned that the film could just hope to, at the best, match Ant-Man’s opening in the area ($43 million). “The themes of all movies 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 cinematic franchises, such as Avengers: chronilogical age of Ultron, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
This “surprise” success arrived despite a persistent media narrative with unsightly implications, both for China and Hollywood: That Chinese racism will destroy any opportunity for success for a movie with black colored leads.
Asia is currently the world’s second biggest theatrical market, but this presumption has offered Hollywood a rationale to mainly avoid releasing movies with black colored protagonists here. It has additionally resulted in egregious functions of “decolorization” in just exactly exactly how Hollywood movies are marketed, including Lucasfilm’s choice to attenuate John Boyega’s face in Chinese posters for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.