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‘Ghost In The Shell’ Will Lose At Least $60 Million

It’s already been established that Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell, based on Masamune Shirow’s manga of the same name, is a box office dud, but just how big of a dud?

The Paramount/DreamWorks-Reliance film is expected to lose at least $60 million, according to Deadline, which spoke to film financiers about the project. The figure is based on a global box office projection of $200 million and an estimated production cost of $110 million and P&A (prints and advertising) cost of $140 million. The film has currently earned $72.5M worldwide.

While the film is acknowledged to have cost around $110M, some sources told Deadline that the actual cost of the film is more in the $180M range. If the latter production costs prove more accurate, then losses on the film will climb over $100M.

The Deadline piece identifies many reasons why the film won’t earn back its production and marketing costs. Some of those reasons will be familiar, like the film’s flawed marketing campaign and difficulties adapting anime for Western audiences, but there were other issues as well, such as a lack of corporate interest in the project at Paramount. The piece argues that the casting/’whitewash’ factor didn’t play as significant a role in the film’s failure as a variety of other factors.

Deadline’s assessment runs counter to the opinions of those within Paramount, like the studio’s domestic distribution chief Kyle Davis who specifically acknowledged the casting (and subsequently poor reviews) as a factor in the film’s performance:

“We had hopes for better results domestically. I think the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews. You’ve got a movie that is very important to the fanboys since it’s based on a Japanese anime movie. So you’re always trying to thread that needle between honoring the source material and make a movie for a mass audience. That’s challenging, but clearly the reviews didn’t help.”

  • Ryan Barrett

    Guess Kyle’s too busy swimming in money to know that fanboys = derogatory. It’s the english equivalent of otaku.

  • Cameron Ward

    man, Paramount is going to lose so much money this year.

    • Metlow Rovenstein

      Let’s pray that Bakish and Giannapolis know what they’re doing in revitalizing Paramount.

  • Dante Panora

    That, but also I think it’s kind of weird that someone would make a big budget live action Ghost in Shell movie in the U.S. at all. It wasn’t that big of a hit in the 90’s and while the film does have a cult following I don’t think it’s anywhere near strong enough to warrant the money they paid for the rights. I think back than having this dark, serious animated cyberpunk movie was cool and groundbreaking for Americans at the time but I know alot of people who say it would be too boring and kind of outdated to remake in the 2010’s.

  • I’ve watched everything ‘Ghost in the Shell’. I didn’t go to see this because of poor reviews and rumors of a half-baked story. Make sure it’s a good story before you pump $100 million into it.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I hate when you work for a studio and one of their movies flops and management comes out with the “We lost $60 million on this movie.” And then I’m thinking, “What are you telling me this for. I didn’t green light the film.”

  • It’s not just the whitewashing that hurt this film.

    The writing and direction didn’t have appeal or charm with its characters. The visuals for the backgrounds were great, but the overall pacing was static, and for that, it’s not a full blame on ‘fanboys’. You have to win the general audience too, as they are the word of mouth for a film’s success or failure. And there wasn’t much to encourage others to go see this film, even I couldn’t.

  • So a famous actor can’t sell the tickets… can Hollywood just cast characters that look the part next time?

  • Andrew Laubacher

    This is what happens when an adaptation includes the flash of the original without the substance. Regarding the whitewashing controversy, the filmmakers might have gotten away with it if it was only Scarlet Johansson. But someone had the bright idea to keep the Japanese setting but cast virtually all of the leads with non-Asian actors.

    • BlueBoomPony

      I was surprised they didn’t move it to Los Angeles or maybe San Francisco. Anything but New York again. Just westernize it like Seven Samurai -> Magnificent Seven.

  • AnthonyA

    I’ve noticed that it’s in very limited release, too, at least in my area, which surely isn’t helping. Haven’t seen any theaters yet that are offering it. They’re too busy holding over Beauty and the Beast for another week.

  • Robert Cordova

    Still hasn’t been released in Japan or China so hold on still.

  • SnicksterFace

    Sure… blame fanboys for tone deaf casting.

    They need to take the hit like real adults and admit they made a mistake, and promise to never do that again.