Beijing, Nov 23 (EFE).- The sequel to the highest grossing movie of all time, “Avatar”, will release in China on the same date as the US – Dec 16, – 20th Century Studios announced Wednesday.
“Avatar: The Way of Water”, the franchise’s second release directed by James Cameron, will is set to break an undeclared ban on foreign movies premiering in China, as several big releases and blockbusters failed to secure Chinese screens in recent years, or did so after months of delay.
Current Hollywood titles like “Black Adam” or “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” have still not been approved for release in major Chinese theaters, as was the case with “Top Gun: Maverick” or other Hollywood productions released since the beginning of the pandemic.
Several reasons have been given for the movies being blocked, including criticism of the cast, misrepresentation of Chinese policies, portrayal of stereotypes surrounding Chinese culture in some of the movies or support to Taiwan and Dalai Lama in the plot.
20th Century Studio’s post on Weibo – Twitter’s Chinese equivalent – announcing the scheduled date of release for the much-awaited sequel, 13 years after the release of the original film, started trending automatically on China’s social media.
Following its re-release in 2021 in China, the first Avatar film went on to become the highest grossing film of all time. A lot of people in China admire the movie since they consider Pandora, the moon where the first film is set, to be a representation of Zhangjiajie, a UNESCO natural world heritage site in the southern province of Hunan.
However, despite some positive reaction to the news, most netizens were pessimistic about being able to go to theaters and watch the film amid the pandemic situation in China, with ongoing outbreaks in important cities like Beijing and Guangzhou.
A Weibo user posted that they hope to see the movie upon its release.
Another user expressed enthusiasm for the movie’s release, hoping for theaters to be completely open by then. At present, cinema halls in China remain closed due to anti-pandemic measures, as part of China’s “zero Covid” policy.
.The “zero Covid” policy relies on the isolation of those infected, strict border control, regular PCR tests in urban areas and lockdowns where new cases are detected. It has been in force since the beginning of 2020, despite signs of fatigue in the population in recent months, evident through riots taking place in cities like Guangzhou.
It remains to be seen whether the people of China will actually be able to watch the movie in theaters or not, considering the restrictions accompanying the government’s anti covid policy. EFE