Since “Iron Man” debuted in the Middle Kingdom in 2008, the Marvel films have developed a huge, devoted fan base in China as no other foreign franchise has done. It has 5.79 million followers on its official Weibo account (China’s version of Twitter). The nearly two dozen installments released in China have amassed more than $2.23 billion (RMB15 billion), accounting for about 12% of the films’ global gross.
Industry watchers attribute the franchise’s success in part to timing. It began tapping into audiences just as multiplexes began proliferating across the country,