Malaysian Marvel fans are perhaps still in denial and anger over the fact that Thor: Love and Thunder has been postponed indefinitely by Disney in local cinemas. When the news first broke out though, it seemed as even the cinemas had no idea why it was postponed, with both Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) and TGV Cinemas revealing that they too were waiting for more updates from Disney.
It’s gotten to the point where GSC themselves—known for their humourous antics on social media—shared a news article regarding the delay of Thor: Love and Thunder and tagging Disney, FINAS as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs (who control the Film Censorship Board), calling for them to ‘fix this’.
And it’s not just GSC’s social media admins too, as even their big boss got involved. Koh Mei Lee, GSC CEO and chairman of the Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors, also called on Disney and the government to step in and clear the air over the film’s delay.
“We hope to get some clarification, whether from Disney or the relevant authorities, to help us understand the reason for the delay and hopefully find a resolution for it as quickly as possible.
We want to understand, why is this movie not shown here? Will it impact future movies that are going to be released here? Because if it does, and all the major movies are going to be cancelled like this, then it won’t be sustainable for the cinema industry,” – Koh Mei Lee, GSC CEO
On top of that, Koh also stated to Malay Mail that having local and international content was key towards the sustainability of the local cinema industry. Crucially, by missing out on airing these movies, movie fans will end up seeking different ways of watching them—both legally or illegally. Cinemas already need to pay a 25% entertainment tax that streaming platforms don’t need to, while also needing to deal with the window for cinema viewing shorted from 90 days to 45 days. Then there’s also the need to market the movies, which for Thor: Love and Thunder ended up becoming a waste.
😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 https://t.co/ZREUep3NcL— GSC x Mat Kilau 🇲🇾 (@GSCinemas) July 13, 2022
GSC wasn’t alone in in raising their concerns though. TGV Cinemas’ CEO Tan Lay Han told Malay Mail that with cinemas being unable to draw in the crowds, not only are cinemas about to suffer losses but so will the malls that they call home. Tan also wants cinemas to not have to go through similar setbacks in the future, especially considering that the local cinema industry has already gone through a lot since the pandemic.
“The cinema industry is a key player in the larger economy as well, so there’s a multiplier effect going on. We definitely hope that future movies won’t go through this (uncertainty) as well,” Tan Lay Han, TGV Cinemas CEO
Nevertheless, despite the two largest cinemas in Malaysia voicing their concerns, Disney Malaysia, the distributor for Thor: Love and Thunder, has still not made any announcements on the delay for the movie. This has only fueled angry fans who continue to speculate on what’s causing the delay in Malaysia, such as censorship issues or avoiding competition with local blockbuster Mat Kilau. Incidentally, the movie is facing a similar problem in China, where it still has yet to be given a release date too.