Covid May Affect Ticket Sales For Marvel Movies In China
In February, Disney’s comic book cinematic world will once again have a release in China, which will be the first time in over four years.
The Chinese release dates for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” are Feb. 7 and Feb. 17, respectively. Box office analysts are concerned that these next February movies may not generate significant ticket sales because of internet piracy and the recent Covid rise, even though the reintroduction of the Chinese market is beneficial for Disney in the long run.
For Hollywood blockbusters, especially those associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, China has served as a key distribution base. China is the second-highest-grossing box office region for all Marvel films since 2012’s “The Avengers,” just behind the United States and Canada.
The release of “Black Widow” in 2021 fell during a Chinese blackout, during which the nation boxed out international films while keeping cinemas open for domestic movies. As a result, despite having received distribution approval, it was unable to reach Chinese theatres.
Additionally, “Eternals,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” “Thor: Love and Thunder,” and the Sony-Disney collaboration “Spider-Man: No Way Home” were not permitted to be screened in China.
This pattern will be broken with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” However, since it wasn’t accessible to the Chinese public when it was launched in other regions in November, it probably saw an increase in online piracy. Even though viewers will still show up to screenings, the movie might not sell as many tickets as it would have if it had been released earlier.
Since the government reversed its “zero covid” policy, there are worries about dampened ticket revenue from China as the coronavirus yet again wreaks havoc in the area. For films like Disney and James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the market was expected to be a significant source of income, but it has fallen short of expectations.
Currently, China has contributed $214 million, or 11%, of the movie’s overall global revenue. For comparison, during its run in 2009 and 2010, the first “Avatar” brought in about $250 million in ticket sales.
A welcome increase in ticket sales for “Quantumania” could occur if the Covid wave in the area slows. 20% of the theatrical office for the first two Ant-Man standalone movies came from China.