History and Culture

China marvels at mighty fighters

2018-05-17 09:52:00 (Beijing Time)         China Daily

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Thanos returns to the big screen as the top enemy against Marvel's superheroes in Avengers: Infinity War, which has set some box-office records in China. (Photo provided to China Daily)

This storyline has been building since the end-credit scene in 2011's Thor, when Thanos made his first on-screen appearance, followed by the subsequent revealing of five of the six Infinity Stones in Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Doctor Strange.

In Avengers: Infinity War, the final stone is unearthed and the seven-year long story arc enters its final phase as earth's mightiest heroes assemble across time and space in an attempt to nullify the threat posed by Thanos.

With the film's title listed as one of the top 50 most searched phrases on microblogging site, Sina Weibo, the popularity of the Russo brothers' directorial flick - distributed by Walt Disney and produced by Marvel Studios - is indisputable, and it has obtained a score of 8.5 points out of 10 on the popular review site Douban.

However, there was just as much drama off screen as there was in the box-office bonanza itself.

Earlier, organizers enraged Chinese fans attending a Shanghai promotional event on April 19 when they issued fewer tickets to die-hard Marvel fans than to the fans of the Chinese singers Eason Chan, Jane Zhang and Jason Zhang, who were also invited to sing some songs and promote the movie.

Things went from bad to worse when the event's host sidelined Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo and Tom Holland, letting Chan stand center stage.

Seemingly not quite prepared, Chan made the atmosphere even more awkward as he asked in a speech about the stars' characters, Iron Man, Hulk and Spiderman: "What do we call them? Supermen?"

Taking into account that DC's Superman has been a long-standing rival of Marvel's characters in both comic books and on the big screen for more than half a century, it's easy to understand the outpouring of the fans' wrath.

Like the Avengers, the angry fans assembled, online, to demand justice. Marvel Studios, Chan and the host all said sorry via their Weibo accounts. All seems to have been forgiven and forgotten, though, as the roaring box-office numbers appear to show.