Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is easily the most anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe production since Spider-Man: No Way Home, but there’s a lot of unwanted apprehension coming along with that. Many are curious, if not outright unsure, how the movie will handle the death of Chadwick Boseman and his character T’Challa/Black Panther. Sadly, the idea of a Black Panther movie without Black Panther is only one of several issues plaguing the film, including its release in other countries.
Due to a specific stipulation, Wakanda Forever may not release in France theatrically. While this might sound somewhat irrelevant, it could definitely become a financial issue for the movie. Given Marvel Studios’ other issues, it’s definitely cause for concern to mount so much pressure on the second Black Panther, and it could see the movie massively underperforming.
Wakanda Forever May Not Release in French Theaters
Despite the box office potential for the movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is possibly skipping theaters and going straight to Disney+ in France. According to The Direct, this is due to a French law that requires movies to wait 17 months after their theatrical release before they can go to streaming services. This is the reason that the upcoming animated movie Strange World is premiering on Disney+ in the country instead of in theaters. So far, there’s been no confirmation whether Wakanda Forever will skip a French release, though it certainly wouldn’t help the film.
The original Black Panther made over $33 million in France. Though this might sound insignificant given the movie’s $1.3 billion total gross, it’s not a completely negligible amount of money. If anything, the hype for the second movie surrounding T’Challa’s death would only increase any box office revenue in France, especially after the success and popularity of the first film. Unfortunately, skipping the home of the Eiffel Tower is just one hurdle plaguing the second Black Panther movie, and it could add up to death by a thousand paper cuts.
No T’Challa, a Weakened MCU and Skipped Releases Could Hurt Wakanda Forever
As mentioned, the very idea of a Black Panther movie without the title character is in itself almost ridiculous. It’s not as if this is a spinoff show or movie — it’s the official sequel to the smash hit film from 2018. Of course, Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing was something completely unexpected, but continuing to make the movie afterward has garnered criticism. Some felt that the movie should’ve been put on the chopping block out of respect for Boseman, while others believed that the best way to honor him would be to recast T’Challa and continue his story.
It’s undeniable that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is simply not the juggernaut that it once was. Most of Phase Four has come and gone with a relative whimper, with only the nostalgia-driven Spider-Man: No Way Home and perhaps Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness having the type of cultural and fandom staying power of previous entries. Those two are the only Phase Four movies to really reach their box office potential, and with the somewhat mixed reception of the MCU shows on Disney+, the shared universe as a whole has become a lot easier to skip.
With the somewhat faltering box office receipts, cutting a major country out of the economic equation could definitely do some damage to Wakanda Forever. The movie may be able to use the sad event surrounding its story and the hype of the first film to become a financial success, but it definitely has far more roadblocks in its path than many would have expected.
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