Sony Pictures reportedly took a stand against China’s censorship during the December 2021 release of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Per Hollywood trade publication, Puck, Sony Pictures refused to make changes to the blockbuster movie in order to secure a release in China. At the heart of the movie’s climax are patriotic scenes at the Statue of Liberty, which didn’t sit well with China’s National Film Administration, which answers to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The CCP asked Sony Pictures to remove scenes that showed Peter Parker and co. fighting the villains on top of the Statue of Liberty. Sony Pictures did not oblige.
So the CCP attempted to come to a compromise. They asked Sony Pictures to minimize or darken the statue so that it wouldn’t be as noticeable. Once again, Sony Pictures stood its ground. As a result, the movie was banned in China.
Unlike the NBA and other corporations, Sony Pictures showed it has a backbone by refusing to cave in to the CCP’s demands. But like it often does, Sony Pictures’ stand didn’t come without a cost.
Per the Daily Wire, Sony Pictures’ decision to not release the movie in China likely cost them somewhere between $170-$340 million. Even without the help of China, however, the film was still wildly successful.
Spider-Man: No Way Home was the top-grossing movie of 2021 and the third highest-earning movie of all-time, coming in behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Endgame, earning $800 million domestically.
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