“Shang-Chi” Sweeps Global Box Office, But May Not Release in Chinese Theaters

Marvel’s first movie with an all Asian cast, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, premiered on September 3 and earned $140 million in global ticket sales to-date, smashing the record for a Labor Day opening which traditionally has shown lower sales.

When Marvel originally announced its plans to make Shang-Chi, many assumed that this was in an attempt to win over the Chinese market. However, the movie currently does not have a premiere date in China and may not release in local theaters due to controversy.

Reasons for delay in film releases are usually due to government regulators determining that the cast or storyline is disrespectful towards China. The public opinion is that although Simu Liu (劉思慕) was born in China, he grew up in Canada and his looks fuel the Western stereotypes of how Chinese people look.

The stellar cast of Tony Leung (梁朝偉) and Michelle Yeoh (楊紫瓊), generated interest in the film, but viewers in China were disappointed to learn that he would be the villain in the movie. Making many attempts to clarify that his character is not The Mandarin who was associated with racist stereotypes of the past, Marvel created an original film character for Tony called Xu Wenwu.

The President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, emphasized that Tony’s portrayal of his character was perfect and the spirit of the movie. Although Shang-Chi killed his father in the comic, this scene does not appear in the movie.

Even with these reassurances, the movie has still not been able to pass China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) review process. There has been no promotion in China as well, fueling speculations that the movie would unlikely release in local theaters.

“Shang-Chi” Trailer

Source: World Journal

This article is written by Kiki for Jaynestars.com.

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  1. So glad it s still doing really well without the Chinese market. I think simu firts perfectly for his role!! Did China think someone like wang yibo or xiao zhan could play shangchi??? Hahahahha

  2. Disney really should not bother with China… No point targeting them. But I am very happy to watch this movie!!

  3. I read and heard many good reviews for this movie. I’m looking forward to watch this too but I need to wait for Disney to put up on on streaming platform. In M’sia covid is still rampant. Cinema not open yet.
    I think hollywood don’t need to make movies with the intention to gain from China market. China is too unpredictable when it comes to banning movies. Just make good movies.
    I’m very glad that Shang-Chi make it without China. The reasons for banning this movie is ridiculous. I was against Simu Liu too earlier becuase in the original comic Shang-chi is eurasian. But since Disney made his parents both Asian, his look is ok for me now.

  4. Maybe I didn’t grow up in the west, so, I didn’t feel the sting of this chinese peril stereotype. I don’t how Fu Manchu (Shang Chi’s original father in the comics) is in the original novels, but, I actually like Marvel Comics’ version of Fu Manchu. The man is a genius that excels in everything he pursues.

    A lot of viewers like Tony Leung’s Wenwu. He has a complete story arc and many like his love story with his wife (Fala Chen). Tony’s acting is also universally praised.

    1. Yes! It was soo good! Probably one of my favorite marvel movies!! Going to go watch it again for the 2nd time!
      Honestly, Tony’s acting was the best in there! His scenes made me cried even though he was a villain lol

    2. Can you explain why you like that ugly and insidious racist caricature of Fu Manchu that defined Chinese males for the better part of half a century?

      1. @msxie0714 I already explain in this sentence.

        ‘The man is a genius that excels in everything he pursues.’

        If a Chinese character has to be a villain/adversary to the hero, I would rather he be formidable and intelligent, and Fu Manchu is formidable and intelligent. I don’t mind the Qing Dynasty costume. This is a comics first written in the 70s. It is a product of its time.

        I like villains that are intelligent like Lex Luthor and Maximus Boltagon. This is just my personal preference. Secondly, Fu Manchu is not a one dimensional villain in the 70s comics I read. In one story, he saved an orphan in a war torn area (forgot the war was between who and who). So, this orphan become very loyal to him.

  5. This was SO GOOD. Definitely top 3 MCU films for me and completely changes the game for upcoming MCU possibilities, and even films in general because of the extensive use of subtitles. Excellent portrayal of Chinese culture. Simu was great but the aura of Tony was definitely a highlight. I wouldn’t call him the villain really. Recommend you all go watch it

  6. It’s rediculous to say Simu fuels the stereotype of Chinese when he looks like a doppleganger of a popular Chinese actor Lei Jiaying, whose been an award winning lead male for many acclaimed dramas.

  7. the movie was sooo good saw it during the weekend! oh by the way screw China it prove the movie was successful without China viewers!

  8. Wow a lot of raving reviews from folks here…maybe I should give it a go. I watched Raya and the Last Dragon and it was nice, but plotwise, still left a bit to be desired. Mulan was terrible. I hope Shang Chi did justice to the recent chains of somewhat mediocre Asian represented films

  9. I agree. Disney shouldn’t bother with the mainlander market. Mainlanders haven’t evolved enough to be able to appreciate a move like this yet.

    1. The money in China is hard to ignore even when you’re just nickel and diming your way to profits by the sheer population size.

  10. The real irony is that China seems to be too racist about racism for it’s own good. It hates being stereotyped when things don’t fit their own predefined stereotype for themselves.

  11. China is so thin skinned sometimes. Those complaints really just seem like an excuse to spite Disney for their hiring of Chloe Zhao for the Eternals.

    Simu killed it in the role, and is a way better choice than anyone out of China imo. The movie still needs to appeal to a worldwide audience, and not to China who loves their pretty boys who can’t act.

    1. In case you didn’t know, overseas and domestic fans are devastated that pretty boys who can’t act are now getting bad raps from the Chinese govt.

  12. So happy it did so well! I’m definitely going to watch it again in a few weeks. It was so good and done right for once. Tony is definitely the highlight of this film because he is able to give his character depth. And Simu is the perfect person to Shang-Chi.

    Anyone also a fan of Meng’er Zhang? I thought she was also effortless in her role and I loved how they wrote her character. Apparently it’s also her first film? She’s been in smaller productions and theatres but never a feature film… I think so please correct me if I’m wrong.

  13. Can someone explain to me what exactly “fuel the Western stereotypes of how Chinese people look” is referring to? I dont see many distinct features on him?

    1. Lol, I was wondering what that meant too. They got a Chinese actor who looks too Chinese? Ha ha, that’s such a joke.

  14. Haha love that you guys are down for Disney not showing this in the big 6 market….they don’t need that blood money. Hope it doesn’t even get bothered to be showed there then.

  15. Watched the movie this weekend. Great movie, and it represented Chinese culture really well. If China really is so thin skinned on being so petty because Simu or Chloe spoke their mind, then eff them. They can continue to act like children rather than celebrating the fact that more Asian representation in Hollywood is a good thing for Asians overall.

    1. Lol they literally do not care about positive Asian representation in the world. Theyd rather no one never know who Simu and Chloe are

      1. Chinese national are weird, big on ego with a delicate heart. They think everything revolves around them and everyone is talking about them.

        Fact is, they were poor, folks had to leave China to find a living elsewhere, how is that demeaning?

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