The Marvel Cinematic Universe is without a doubt the biggest franchise on the planet, and that extends to all corners of the globe. However, despite every installment from The Avengers through to Spider-Man: Far From Home earning upwards of $100 million in China, the nation has opted out of any subsequent superhero blockbusters.
That even extends to Sony’s output, with Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Morbius not scoring a release in Chinese theaters, as the local authorities focus more on homegrown titles after spending a few years exchanging flirtatious glances with Hollywood executives, which would often yield blatant pandering to the market.
Spider-Man: No Way Home managed to score close to $1.9 billion at the box office despite being completely absent from China, and it turns out that the notoriously strict censorship board may have asked for one cut too many.
According to Puck‘s Matthew Belloni, it was put to Disney and Marvel to remove the Statue of Liberty from the film entirely, something that would have obviously been next to impossible given that it’s the backdrop to the climactic third act showdown between a trio of web-slingers and their multiversal adversaries.
Of course, the numbers have already proven that the MCU doesn’t need the largest slice of cinematic pie on the planet to thrive and succeed, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness having already been ruled out of a Chinese premiere. It’s still expected to hit a billion dollars, though, so it’s unlikely Kevin Feige and the bean counters at the Mouse House will be losing any sleep over their continued exile from a highly lucrative territory.