‘Ghostbusters’ Braces for China Rejection

'Ghostbusters' Braces for China Rejection
Courtesy of Sony

Ghostbusters” is unlikely to score a release in China, sources confirm to Variety.

It’s bad news for the $144 million comedy, which needs to do well globally to make back its hefty budget. Though “Ghostbusters” hasn’t officially been screened for Chinese officials, its subject matter will likely run afoul of the country’s censors, according to an insider. The state-controlled film board does not approve of films that promote cults or superstitious beliefs. In the past, movies that focus on the paranormal, such as last fall’s “Crimson Peak,” have been unable to secure a berth in the country.


Film Review: ‘Ghostbusters’

To try to assuage censors, Sony has cooked up a new title for “Ghostbusters” — it’s now known as “Super Power Dare-to-Die Team.” China continues to be a critical source of revenues for major Hollywood blockbusters. It is expected to bypass the United States as the top market for film by 2017. This year alone, films such as “Warcraft” and “Zootopia” have made north of $200 million at the Chinese box office.

Domestically, “Ghostbusters” is suffering some fierce headwinds. Reviews have been solid, but the decision to reboot the series with a new cast that includes Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, has been controversial. Sony projects a $38 million to $40 million debut in the U.S., though some box office tracking services are forecasting a launch that’s closer to $50 million.

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  1. Filmteknik says:

    “[China] is expected to bypass the United States as the top market for film…”

    What happens when you no longer have editors. Surpass not bypass.

  2. J Berry says:

    From a translation standpoint, “Super Power Dare-to-Die Team” is a pretty poor rendering of the Chinese “超能敢死队.” It’s almost like the translator is trying to end up with some sort of Chinglish for comedic effect rather than do the responsible thing and produce an accurate translation.

    A more accurate and more literary translation would be “Super-powered Suicide Squad.”

    The original title was to be “捉鬼敢死队,” which is translated as “Ghost-catching Suicide Squad.”

    • Jack Monte says:

      Either way that title is inept and really has nothing to do with the film, even if all of the ghosts were suicide cases, the squad would refer to the foursome. I would say the bad translation for the story is done on purpose so Warners is in the dark doesn’t get involved. Seeing how they have a film called Suicide Squad coming out in a month and studios are supposed to play nice with their titles not sounding like anyone else’s coming out that year.

  3. Victor Stone says:

    Chinese people don’t know how lucky they are.

  4. Bob Wilson says:

    Why is variety trying to cover for the Chinese? It’s not held up because of the ghosts. The movie never even made it to the review board because they said it didn’t look very good. Why, they must be misogynists! Right variety? Misogyny!

  5. TM says:

    The trailer was lamer than lame. No wonder it’s a bomb.

  6. millerfilm says:

    How about call the new movie: “SJW Busters?”

  7. Starship Captain says:

    “Super Power Dare to Die Team”?

    All your ghosts now are belong us.

    • millerfilm says:

      “Dare to Die” sounds great for those of us who would like to see Amy Pascal’s “endless” series aspirations to do just that!

  8. Kaiju This! says:

    “To try to assuage censors, Sony has cooked up a new title for “Ghostbusters” — it’s now known as “Super Power Dare-to-Die Team.””

    Is this real? Because it sounds like a really hack joke from a bad stand-up.

  9. Angel says:

    The producers/studio should be happy as China leads the way in hacked new releases streamed on the internet within hours of release! With the hackers out of the way, the studio can finally receive its full profit.

  10. chris says:

    LOL, good job China!

    • Angel says:

      But of course, they’ve already taken in the China loss I assumed. Make you wonder why they didn’t think of the China market this BEFORE filming commenced, and film some “China approved” scenes to insert. Somebody’s head should roll!

  11. Kyle says:

    ‘Reviews have been solid”
    What the heck are you talking about?

  12. Nick says:

    They should just do what Call of Duty did to Zombie mode and make all the ghosts robots.

    Just replace every shot of a ghost with a robot. Or include a single line of dialog that explains that these aren’t ghosts but nanomachines gone wild. And the only one who can control the robots is The Super Power Dare Die Team (Also, change the American name to that because it’s amazing).

  13. EricJ says:

    Okay, guys, that Warcraft thing you were hoping to save GB from the “haters”?
    Think we forgot that Chinese audiences still live in China, and that the State hates ghosts…OOP-sie! :)

    Look like we’ll just have to take our lumps with the home crowd, doesn’t it?

  14. Jesse says:

    Ghostbusters2016 is not being given good reviews by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, both the industry standard for decades. It’s not going to get sell well overseas without China. The director should have asked for a better plot, jokes, and characterizations. Columbia can’t start a franchise with a movie this weak.

  15. Ben says:

    Especially too bad for them, since China typically adores garbage US movies.

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