While Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” had a solid opening in China over the weekend, the local audience has been slamming it with critical reviews — ranging from complaints about the movie making them “drowsy” to “torturing” their eyes for its “blackness.”
The movie earned $66.5 million in its first three days in China, making the country its largest international territory, according to Variety.
So far, it is also China’s biggest opening of a Western title in 2018, taking a whopping 53% of market share.
But despite these gains, “Black Panther” did not exactly please Chinese reviewers, many of whom complained along the lines of it being “too black,” just stopping short of leaving racist comments on the color of the protagonists.
“Maybe the Chinese are still not used to a film full of black people,” one wrote on Douban, the Chinese equivalent of IMDB, adding that he had to pinch himself for more than 10 times to stay awake.
Quartz quoted the reviewer as saying:
“Black Panther is black, all the major characters are black, a lot of scenes are black, the car-chasing scene is black—the blackness has really made me drowsy.”
Another recalled struggling upon arriving at the cinema:
“When I entered the theater, a bunch of black people was fighting in the night… I’ve never been in a theater so dark that I couldn’t find my seat.”
If these don’t paint enough discomfort, another reviewer wrote that the experience was worse in 3D, calling it a “torture”:
“The film is filled with black actors and actresses. Also, because the film’s colors are a bit dark, it’s nearly a torture for the eyes to watch the film’s 3D version in the theater.”
Meanwhile, Hip-Hop Wired took note of similar observations:
“Even if the screen with the highest brightness is selected, the movie still looks ‘dark.’”
“There was no preview of the film’s good looks. The entire essence of the game was a small part of it. The story was simple and cliched. The latter part was boring and almost impossible to see.”
“It feels a bit dark.”
Images via YouTube / Marvel Entertainment