Chinese moviegoers love U.S. films, but the communist government is not so fond of them seeing America’s symbols of freedom, so they often demand film studios cut scenes or themes from the versions shown there.
Spider-Man is having none of it.
“With great power comes great responsibility,” says Spidey’s code, and Sony Pictures, which distributes the Marvel Studios film, appears to be following Peter Parker’s advice in finally standing up the nemesis of free expression.
Sony’s previous two Tom Holland Spider-Man movies grossed $116 million and $200 million in China, so when they wanted to distribute “Spider-Man: No Way Home” there, authorities asked Sony to remove the Statue of Liberty from the ending, reports Puck, citing multiple sources.
When Sony said no to the request, Chinese authorities asked if the statue’s presence could be lessened in the 20-minute sequence.
Sony considered the request, but ended up making no changes, the sources told Puck. The film ultimately was not distributed in China. It isn’t known whether Chinese censors kept the film from being shown or whether Sony decided not to bother.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” grossed almost $1.9 billion worldwide even without showing in China, according to Box Office Mojo, which called it the sixth-highest movie release ever.
U.S. movie studios have been bowing to Chinese censors’ demands for years. Warner Brothers recently removed dialogue referring to a same-sex relationship in “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” in its Chinese version.
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