Spider-Man movie wasn't shown in China after Sony refused to edit out Statue of Liberty

No way.

Alfie Kwa | May 05, 2022, 10:26 AM

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Sony's "Spider-Man: No Way Home" stood to hit US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) at the global box office if it was released in Chinese cinemas.

However, according to Puck News, it was never released as Sony and Marvel Studio refused requests from Chinese authorities to amend the film.

Changes to the movie

Just like in the comics, spidey's adventures take place in New York City, which is home to the Statue of Liberty.

A modified version of the landmark, where Lady Liberty is holding Captain America's shield, is prominently featured in the movie.

For context, the main fight sequence and the only part of the movie where all Spider-Man(s) and the villains from each movie appear are at that location.

However, Puck reported that Chinese authorities had requested the studio take out the landmark in the film.

According to NextShark, they later amended their request and asked the studio to remove shots considered too patriotic. This included shots where Spider-Man stood on the Statue of Liberty’s crown.

Screengrab from Sony's Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer.

The authorities also reportedly suggested dimming some of these scenes to make the landmark less visible.

Sony, however, rejected their demands and the movie has not been released in Chinese cinemas.

Lost millions

CNBC reported that the film could have potentially made US$170 million to US$340 million (S$235 million to S$470.2 million) in sales from China alone.

Even so, the movie hit US$1.84 billion (S$2.5 billion) at the box office without a China release.

This is below the US$2 billion mark, which movies like "Avatar", "Avengers: Endgame", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Avengers: Infinity War" hit. These films reportedly had significant sales in China.

Other of Tom Holland's Spider-Man franchises – "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Spider-Man: Far from Home"– grossed US$117 million and US$200 million (S$161.8 million and S$276.6 million) at the Chinese box office, respectively.

This is apparently not the first time Sony has rejected Chinese authorities' request to censor their films.

According to the New York Post, Sony denied the request to remove a controversial portrayal of the late Bruce Lee in “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”.


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Screengrab from Spider-Man: No Way Home/YouTube.