How a Lesbian Kiss on the Forehead May Stop Black Panther 2 from Reaching $1 Billion
The 'straight agenda' has attempted to derail Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!
One of the most anticipated movies of the year and the final movie in Marvel's Phase 4, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is currently now out in theaters. Despite overall movie attendance being down and theaters not returning to their pre-pandemic levels, Wakanda Forever, just like it's predecessor, is looking to be another huge hit for Marvel Studios with an opening weekend box office number of $181.9 million.
This makes Black Panther: Wakanda Forever the highest November debut ever and the 2nd highest opener of 2022. Wakanda Forever also holds an A Cinema Score, an 86% critic rating and a 96% Audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Unfortunately, even though all the cards seem to be in order for this movie to make a billion dollars one of the reasons this movie will not hit that mark is because Wakanda Forever will more than likely be banned in countries like China because of a barely noticeable kiss between two same-sex characters in the movie.
Prior to 'Wakanda Forever' hitting theaters, it was announced that Michaela Coel, who rose to fame as the creator and star of Netflix's "Chewing Gum," and had a breakout year in 2021 with her next project "I May Destroy You", which caused her to be the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special, she was cast as Dora Milaje Aneka.
In the Black Panther comics, Aneka is the combat instructor of the Dora Milaje and she is also in a relationship with fellow Dora Milaje - Ayo, played by the lovely Florence Kasumba. Audiences are already familiar with Ayo as we first saw her with Prince T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War. We've also seen her in the first Black Panther movie, and she showed up in Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
It was the queerness of Aneka which attracted Michaela Coel to the role. She told Vogue Magazine in an interview, “That sold me on the role, the fact that my character’s queer. I thought: I like that, I want to show that to Ghana.”
However, as a slight spoiler for the movie, the queer relationship between Aneka and Ayo was barely showcased in the movie. The only moment that was presented was Aneka kissing Ayo on the forehead and Ayo smiling at her saying "Thank you, my love." It was barely a 10-second scene, and if you do not know the comics you probably wouldn't even think it was a queer-centric moment. Needless to say, there were people in the audience that didn't even notice it as it went by so quickly.
Check Out the Scene in our Slideshow:
The quickness of the scene is not enough to deter countries like China. According to the Hollywood Reporter, they are saying chances of the movie showcasing in China are very slim because of the inclusion of these two openly queer characters. If Wakanda Forever is banned in China it will join the list of other MCU movies banned in China like Spider-man: No Way Home which was believed to have been banned due to too much American symbolism like the Statue of Liberty.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was banned because it featured a newspaper that was critical of the Chinese government, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was banned because its star Simu Liu was critical of the Chinese government according to Business Insider.
The first Black Panther movie, which did premiere in China made a little over $101 million. Currently Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is sitting at a worldwide box office total of $733 million and after 4 weeks still holds the #1 spot in America. The good news is even without the help of the Chinese box office Wakanda Forever is still a huge hit for Marvel Studios and Disney and one of the few movies in 2022 helping to keep a struggling post-Covid movie theater industry alive.