It's now been confirmed that the "Ghostbusters" reboot won't release in China, due to it being deemed not "attractive" enough for Chinese audiences who might not have seen the first two films.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, there was a good chance "Ghostbusters" wouldn't be released in China anyways, considering its supernatural content and China's ban on films that "promote cults or superstition." The film even changed its Chinese title to remove the word "ghost." "Ghostbusters" was to be titled "Super Power Dare Die Team" in China.
Regardless of the ban, China Film Co. says the decision to block "Ghostbusters" from China comes down to its inaccessibility to Chinese audiences. "It's been confirmed that Ghostbusters won't be coming to China, because they think it's not really that attractive to Chinese audiences," one Chinese executive told THR. "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." The original "Ghostbusters" wasn't theatrically released in China.
Without sales from China to rely on, it's possible "Ghostbusters" could debut with underwhelming numbers from the global box office. While comedies tend to perform worse overseas, "Ghostbusters" has a strong genre element that could serve the film well in territories outside North America, like China.
Directed by Paul Feig, co-written by Feig and Katie Dippold, and starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, "Ghostbusters" hits theaters on July 15.