While in the West the debates over the merits of an all-female Ghostbusters reboot has turned into the contentious debate that it was always going to be, elsewhere in the world there is a different kind of controversy brewing. China has a strange relationship with the film industry, with films that don’t mesh with the Chinese government’s strict guidelines being banned, or at least heavily restricted. It’s no shock that recent films like Deadpool have found themselves on the ban list, but there have also been Chinese filmmakers like Yimou Zhang that have found themselves shut out due to criticism of the government.
Following the strange success of Warcraft in China, it would be easy to assume that China sees dollar signs with Hollywood blockbusters, but when it comes to Ghostbusters, it just wasn’t meant to be. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will not be making it to China any time soon, and that the official reason given isn’t even of censorship (although they do have weird laws about films portraying the occult and ghosts). Even though Sony did their best of making the film inoffensive to the Chinese — even re-titling the film as Super Power Dare Die Team — the explanation given as to why it wasn’t released in China was because the Chinese aren’t that familiar with the franchise.
“It’s been confirmed that Ghostbusters won’t be coming to China, because they think it’s not really that attractive to Chinese audiences,” says one Chinese executive. “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,” the exec adds.
If that feels like a missed opportunity for a reboot of a franchise, it may be. There are no childhood memories for this film to tread all over, meaning that audiences may have actually been receptive to and found to be pretty darned good.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)