‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Secures China Release Date (With Some Censorship Cuts)

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Secures China Release Date (With Some Censorship Cuts)

Disney/Marvel Studios extremely anticipated Deadpool & Wolverine has landed a day and date release in China on July 26. The permission from Beijing film regulators marks the first time the Merc with a Mouth has gotten the green light to launch in China simultaneously with the U.S.

On Monday Disney announced the news over Marvel’s Chinese Social media accounts.

In 2016 the original Deadpool, produced when Marvel fever was near its all-time high in China, was denied a release because of its graphic content. In 2018 Deadpool eventually hit Chinese screens, but months later and only after it had been worked into the holiday season PG-13 version known as Once Upon a Deadpool. The ticket sales for the title still managed to generate $42 million, and the bulk of the youth-friendly release’s $51 million worldwide total.

A China’s Film Bureau, Disney has not said publicly whether censorship changes will be made to Deadpool & Wolverine as part of a release agreement. But anyone familiar with both the Deadpool Franchise and the Chinese regulator’s usual M.O. will know that at least some tweaks can be expected to the movie’s graphic violence and maximally colorful language. There sources close to the film say no cuts will be made that alter “the integrity of the storytelling” or the “Deadpool spirit.”

The world’s second-largest theatrical film market, there the movie will provide a useful data point on the current state of the Marvel brand. In several years, Deadpool & Wolverine is arguably the most anticipated superhero film, so China market watchers will be keen to see whether it can help reignite some fan enthusiasm for the MCU.

Since the pandemic era, Hollywood tentpoles have been a shadow of their former selves at China’s box office, this year with even the best-performing titles ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire ($132.2 million) and Kung Fu Panda 4 ($51.6 million) earring a fraction of what blockbusters brought home during the country’s late 2010s the boom times.

Marvel especially, has been on the wane. For a long stretch throughout the pandemic, Marvel titles were denied releases in China due to pandemic control measures and suspected political issues.

In the last year, the MCU movies began flowing back into the country, but none came close to cracking the $100 million mark a number that was once parred for the course for the franchise in China (In China the last MCU movie to surpass $100 million was Spider-Man: Far from Home with $199 million in mid-2019). Meanwhile, the biggest Chinese hits now regularly pull in hundreds of millions.

Perhaps the antic energy of Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman’s anti-hero chemistry will be what it takes to spark a revival. On Monday they published the second post on Chinese social media, Marvel said the two Deadpool & Wolverine stars, along with the director Shawn Levy, will visit China in early July to promote the movie. Such trips were once commonplace for A-list Hollywood talent, but they have grown rare.

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