After a disappointing $19 million opening weekend, global box-office projections show that Rupert Sander’s live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell” could lose more than $60 million.
Current projections have “Ghost in the Shell” slated to earn $50 million domestically and $150 million internationally for a combined take of $200 million. This number is much lower than the approximately $250 million Paramount and Dreamworks spent on producing and advertising the film, as reported by Deadline.
Though international markets like China have previously helped bolster the box-offices for films that don’t succeed in the West, there’s less chance of that happening this time around since, as the article notes, sci-film movies don’t traditionally perform as well in China as the rest of the world. The release of “Fate of the Furious” will also offer stiff competition that will only hurt “Ghost in the Shell’s” earnings.
While negative reviews are certainly one major factor, Paramount’s marketing campaign never managed to generate the right kind of hype for the niche IP. Instead, the whitewashing controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson’s casting as Major Motoko Kusanagi became the subject of much scrutiny. Many turned the promotional hashtag #IAmMajor — which asked users to share graphics about what makes them unique — back on the company, using it to critique Johansson’s role in the film. Paramount recently blamed “Ghost in the Shell’s” financial failing on the whitewashing controversy surrounding it, which they claim impacted reviews.
The live-action adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s popular cyberpunk manga, “Ghost in the Shell” follows The Major and Section 9, a counter-cyber terrorism unit as they attempt to stop a new enemy from destroying Hanka Robotics’ artificial intelligence technology.
“Ghost in the Shell” is in theaters now. Directed by Rupert Sanders, the movie stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Beat Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Kaori Momoi, Rila Fukushima, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo.