‘Ghostbusters’ has been fighting an uphill battle since it was first announced, but with initial reviews fair-to-positive, it seemed like the underdog remake might actually triumph over the haters. But unfortunately, the Sony flick just lost a MAJOR battle; one that could seriously hurt the film’s final performance. It has been decided that ‘Ghostbusters’ will not open in China, one of the largest markets in the world. (For instance, the U.S. flop ‘Warcraft’ made $221M in China, which may ensure further films in that series.)
There had been concern about ‘Ghostbusters” chances there, because of a longstanding censorship guideline that forbids the import of movies that “promote cults or superstition” which includes ghosts. This rule previously blocked the release of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’. Sony even dropped the Chinese character for “ghost” from the title. It was due to be released as “超能敢死队,” meaning “Super Power Dare Die Team.” (The original films were released in China as “捉鬼敢死队,” “Ghost Catcher Dare Die Team.”)
However, it turns out that ‘Ghostbusters’ won’t be busting up Chinese audiences, but for a far more mundane reason.
And executive for the China Film Co. announced:
“It’s been confirmed that Ghostbusters won’t be coming to China, because they think it’s not really that attractive to Chinese audiences. Most of the Chinese audience didn’t see the first and second movies, so they don’t think there’s much market for it here.”
This seems a bit backward, seeing as how the fact that this is a remake of a beloved film has been the biggest COMPLAINT that U.S. audiences have had. Without that baggage, it may have done extraordinary well in China.
A Hollywood insider says that ‘Ghostbusters’ hasn’t even been submitted for approval, so that seems to support the original statement though.
‘Ghostbusters’ had a reported budget of $144M and is expected to open this weekend at anywhere from $38-$50M. With a fairly modest budget and pretty much the rest of the world still screening it, it should at least come in in the black.
‘Ghostbusters’ won’t be afraid of ghosts on July 15th, 2016. It was directed by Paul Feig and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Chris Hemsworth.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter