The new Ghostbusters movie has reportedly been denied a release in China, the world’s second biggest film market.
Industry insiders are viewing this as a major blow for the reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon because it needs to perform well overseas to recoup its sizeable production budget.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony Pictures are likely to have removed the word “ghost” from the movie’s Chinese title in order to avoid a potential censorship issue.
China’s state-run film body has been known to ban films which feature reasonably realistic supernatural themes. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which has a ghost-centric plot, was denied a release there in 2006.
However, a Chinese film executive told THR that Ghostbusters has been passed over not because of a censorship issue, but owing to a perceived lack of interest.
“It’s been confirmed that Ghostbusters won’t be coming to China, because they think it’s not really that attractive to Chinese audiences,” the executice said. “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.”
Ghostbusters opens in US cinemas tomorrow (July 15) after hitting UK cinema screens earlier this week. Read NME’s review here.