China is finally lifting its ban on the first Deadpool movie, more than two years after it became a smash in theaters worldwide. Deadpool, of course, took the movie world by storm when it debuted in theaters domestically in February 2016, steamrolling its way to more than $363 million in ticket sales stateside. Produced by star Ryan Reynolds, the first solo movie about the Merc with a Mouth also attracted $420 million at the box office overseas, resulting in a final global tally of more than $783 million.
Naturally, with numbers like that (particularly impressive considering the film's R rating), a sequel was put into development, and with the addition of such stalwart Deadpool characters as Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz), the untitled Deadpool sequel (which is what it may actually end up being called), has comic book movie fans in a frenzy of anticipation when it debuts in theaters worldwide in two months.
Related: China's Box Office Isn't Important
Surprisingly, while Deadpool 2 readies itself for another raucous good time with moviegoers, moviegoers in China are finally going to get their first taste of the famed Marvel Comics character. According to Variety, Deadpool, which was blocked from release in China in 2016, will finally premiere in the country when it plays at the Beijing International Film Festival April 15-22. When the film came out in theaters everywhere else two years ago, it was reportedly denied import approval by Chinese regulators. Variety reported that no explanation was given by the Chinese when they blocked the film, but "many in the industry concluded that the film was too sexy and too subversive for the regulators’ definition of mainstream acceptability."
Another possible explanation for China denying the film, Variety explained, is that the country "has no film rating system and requires all films to be suitable for audiences of all ages." Reaching out to a source close to Fox on whether Deadpool will be censored when it plays as the Beijing International Film Festival, the person said, “All festival films should play in original version.”
While Deadpool is only playing within a weeklong frame for a select audience, it's no doubt a positive development for the film franchise. At this juncture, no wide release for Deadpool in China appears to be planned, but perhaps a warm reception to it in Beijing will go a long way to the country's film regulators reconsidering its nationwide ban and release it in some capacity to the masses. If that were the case, then it would naturally allow Deadpool 2 to play in the Middle Kingdom as well, a boon for all parties involved considering it's the most lucrative market for films outside the U.S.
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020