‘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.”