Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

China Reopens Its Gates To Marvel With Black Panther 2 And Ant-Man Release Dates On The Horizon

The last few years have seen a whirlwind series of events take place concerning the fate of movie theaters. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented people from attending crowded events and gatherings, leaving several industries in peril. This included movie theaters, which became ghost towns throughout 2020 as streaming and other options became more readily available. 

Even after medical breakthroughs helped society readjust to some level of normalcy, the movie theater industry still has catching up to do. While there have been some billion dollar hits such as "Top Gun: Maverick," which has also broken a major digital record, theaters continue to struggle in this new era of cinema (via The New York Times). 

Even Marvel, the usual box office titan, has seen a slight slump in some of their cinematic offerings. While they have yet to experience a box office bomb, some of its 2022 films, such as "Thor: Love and Thunder" (via Los Angeles Times) and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" (via Giant Freakin Robot), have not met the MCU standards established by prior box office numbers. Although it seems like concerning news for Marvel's upcoming venture "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania," one international market has reopened and could play a significant part in having Marvel take back its crown as king of the box office. 

Another recent blockbuster restored China's confidence in Marvel movies

On January 17, 2023, China officially gave release dates to Marvel Studios' "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" and "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania," making these movies the first MCU films to play in the country since 2019's "Spider-Man: Far from Home," as reported by Deadline. The Chinese market has seen a massive boost in box office numbers over the years, with 2021 seeing their box office revenue reach $7.3 billion, as opposed to the United States market only earning $4.5 billion (via The Hollywood Reporter).

2022, on the other hand, saw a difficult year for the Chinese box office, dropping to an estimated 36% according Deadline. It has been speculated by the site that a large reason for this is due to the country loosening its grip on COVID-19 protection measures, causing COVID cases to skyrocket recently (via CNN). This was initially a concern when the country allowed "Avatar: The Way of Water" to be shown, with the movie initially having an underwhelming opening in China according to The Hollywood Reporter. While the film did take time to find its footing, it was later reported by the site that "Avatar" The Way of Water" went on to earn over $200 million from China and is getting an extended release. 

With MCU films welcomed back in China, this could be a game changer for the studio and its upcoming films. "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is set to be released on February 7 while "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" hits Chinese theaters the same as its worldwide release on February 17, per Deadline.