China thinks Spider-Man: Far From Home focuses too much on Tony Stark
First major MCU film after Endgame gets early release in China
Fans around the world can’t wait to find out what happens in the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film that follows Avengers: Endgame. And lucky for those in China, they are among the first in the world to get an early view of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
(Don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this story!)
The film opens in mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan on Friday ahead of a wider global release next week. Early figures show it’s already scored US$3.12 million in China’s box office after a midnight debut, and currently ranks only behind defending champion -- Japanese anime Spirited Away.
The anticipation for Far From Home is palpable on Chinese social media even weeks before its release. One fan created these spectacular posters of Spider-Man soaring in the sky with traditional Chinese kites or performing on stage donning a Peking opera costume.
But initial reactions to the film appear to be split. The main criticism comes from people who think the memories of Tony Stark draw too much focus away from Peter Parker, aka young Spider-Man, himself.
“Spider-Man is Spider-Man, not Tony’s Spider-Man,” wrote one reviewer on Douban -- China’s equivalent to Rotten Tomatoes. “Hasn’t the relationship between the two characters been described fully enough? Why do they always have to remind the audience of Tony?”
“How is this Spider-Man?” wrote another person. “It’s basically a sidequel of Iron Man.”
“Since when has Marvel star Spider-Man been reduced to Iron Man’s son?” asked one disappointed fan.
“I watched half of it and gave up. This movie isn’t worth staying up late for,” said another.
Others, though, appreciate the tributes to Iron Man.
“Spider-Man is the best thing that Tony Stark left for us,” said one person.
“We miss you, Tony,” another person wrote.
The MCU franchise has typically done well in China, where this year’s Avengers: Infinity War pulled in the country’s biggest opening of all time. Though not as popular as the Avengers series, Spider-Man movies also fared reasonably well in the past.
Spider-Man: Homecoming, which arrived on Chinese screens two months later than the rest of the world, still ranked 17th in 2017 -- ahead of American favorites such as Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 from three years earlier performed even better, earning 12th place.
For all the debate over whether Far From Home lives up to its predecessors, some fans think there’s no question which hero Marvel has planned to fill the void left by Stark, judging by the film’s emphasis on the bond between him and Peter.
“It’s almost completely obvious who Iron Man’s successor will be,” one user said.