‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Won’t Be Released in China, Maybe Because of Ghosts, Maybe Not
Last year, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak was denied release in Chinese theaters thanks to an old provision in the country’s censorship code which bans films that feature cults and superstitious elements. It looks like a similar fate has befallen Ghostbusters, as Paul Feig’s reboot will not be hitting theaters in the world’s second largest film market. But it might not entirely be about that whole ghost thing.
According to THR, China will not be releasing the new Ghostbusters movie in theaters, which isn’t too surprising since their guidelines expressly prohibit the release of films that “promote cults or superstition.” Curiously, the original Ghostbusters films are still known in China under the foreign title “Ghost Catcher Dare Die Team,” and although Sony changed the name of Feig’s reboot to “Super Power Dare Die Team” for its prospective Chinese release, the film has not been submitted to the country’s regulatory committee for approval.
Sources tell THR that the title and the depiction of ghosts isn’t really the problem, however — no, it has nothing to do with lady Ghostbusters, either. Instead, a Chinese exec says that the new film doesn’t really appeal to local audiences, as “Most of the Chinese audience didn't see the first and second movies, so they don't think there's much market for it.”
That’s totally fair, but do you really need to see the original films to “get” the reboot? Not really. But a movie that features ghosts and is based on a franchise that’s not popular in China probably doesn’t stand much of a chance. If this report is to be believed, then Sony isn’t missing out on a ton of that country’s box office revenue. Hopefully.
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