Subtitle Issues Might Hurt Guardians of the Galaxy in China

These guys. Photo: Marvel Studios

Last week, the talk surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy was that it seemed to be on pace to gross over $800 million internationally. However, this week has revealed a possible roadblock. China Daily reports that poor subtitle translations might hinder the film's popularity in China. China Daily says the translation has ruined much of the film's humor and has led to mixed reviews from critics. Popular users of the Chinese social-media platform Weibo identified at least 80 mistakes: "Aside from a lot of mistranslations, the subtitles failed to show the original feel of the movie, such as jokes, puns and homophones. We cannot help but doubt the professionalism of the translator." 

Guardians made $30 million in its opening weekend there, which is good, but the question is about long-term success. For example, X-Men: Days of Future Past opened to $39 million in China and was able to go on to gross $116 million there. China Daily says translation issues aren't new, with Men in Black III, Pacific Rim, The Hunger Games, and Skyfall all being criticized. Not to mention the fact that comedies historically have had issues abroad because humor sometimes just doesn't translate. Still, we're optimistic because there's one thing we know resonates with all people worldwide universe-wide.