Ghost in the Shell - Whitewashed

Well let me start off by saying I was way way off of the number GITS actually ended up with last weekend for its opener. Yikes! so I thought it might open to 37 million and end up at 80 million but that is completely not in the cards for this movie. In my previous post about this I speculated about the whitewashing controversy with the film and that Scar-Jo was playing with fire by taking the role from an Asian actress. There may be something to this as of the three films (Dr. Strange and Great Wall) that were mentioned this one was considered the most grievous. Mostly because it’s an adaptation of an Japanese anime film and it takes place in Tokyo and according to the film hardly anyone lives there that is actually Japanese. In fact the spoiler apparently makes the case of whitewashing even more plain. But as this is not a review don’t worry I won’t reveal that here. It is possible that audiences had no appetite for sci-fi. Sony’s Life, a sci-fi horror movie fared equally badly. Perhaps it will make it back in the international arena where it is already at 92.8 million. I would imagine that’s still a pretty weak number as it looks like most of the major countries are accounted for here. So for a movie that cost over 100 million to finance it looks like Paramount will take a pretty costly hit for this one. The website Independent claims Paramount admits this is probably going to happen to the tune of at least 60 million. Ouch!!

For last weekend the Boss Baby with Alec Baldwin kicked everyone’s ass including Beauty and the Beast, Ghost in the Shell, Kong: Skull Island and Logan. The Baby made 50 million dollars for number 1 and it put March over a Billion; $1,148,058,562 which puts this year as 53 million more than last year at this time. Man March is starting to look a lot like summer these days.   

Ghost in the Shell - Gross Analysis

Art by Alex Yi

Art by Alex Yi

I forgot something in my 2017 list of comic book movies and thankfully I caught it right now. A few weeks ago I did a preview of the comic book titles that are coming out for the year and I realize that I left out a couple; namely Ghost in the Shell which opens on Friday and Smurfs: The Lost Village which opens next week. So I thought I would do a quick analysis of Ghost in the Shell and the re-cap next week where we will discuss Smurfs. So to all of you Shell-heads I apologize for completely missing the fact that not only was Ghost in the Shell a popular Anime graphic novel by Masamune Shirow in 1989  it was also a popular Anime movie in 1995. Anime, I’ll admit, has never been my bag but I remember reading parts of the GITS and I’ve definitely seen the first animated film and I remember enjoying the story. It was interesting and at the time different from my typical superhero fare, about government corruption and identity theft that was compelling. So before I start putting my estimates out there I gotta address the white-washing controversy building with the film. The Asian-American community has been very vocal about a number of movies and TV shows lately and this is one that has rightfully gotten people up in arms. As with Doctor Strange, The Great Wall and Iron Fist it’s hard to tell whether or not the controversy will affect the bottom line. Iron Fist, from Netflix, was met with harsh criticism from reviewers and audiences but according to Netflix was highly viewed and I’m sure it hasn’t helped that star Finn Jones and other cast members have consistently dug the hole deeper for themselves. (I’ll have more thoughts on Iron Fist in another post). Great Wall suffered under complaints a stiff script and diminishing returns in the U.S. opening at a measly 18.4 million. It was clear this movie didn’t translate to audiences. With Dr. Strange there were complaints about Tilda Swinton playing the Ancient One as a Celtic mystic rather than a Tibetan one. Strange opened to 85 million and went on to gross over 232 million. So will Scarlett Johannson suffer the same fate as Matt Damon or will it become a hit like Dr. Strange? Let’s review.

Art by Alex Yi

As I’ve said in earlier posts this March has been a beast this year amassing over $842.4 million in total. Not quite hitting the heights of last year but there have been a lot of massive hits this month. Ghost in the Shell has quite a bit to tackle in new animated flick Boss Baby, the third weekend of Beauty and the Beast, the second week of Power Rangers, the fourth week of Kong: Skull Island and let’s not forget Logan which is still hanging around in there.  It’s going to be hard for Ghost in the Shell to take the number one spot from Beauty as it made 174.7 million it’s opening weekend and a very minimal drop in its second week to 90.4 million. Clearly Beast is going to be top dog this weekend. Power Rangers opened to 40 million but I think is going to have a big drop so it’s going to be I think Shell and Baby are fighting for number 2. I think Shell will take it at 37 million to open, by a nose. I think Baby is going to be right there behind it. Overall I think Shell, despite it is PG-13 and is getting decent reviews, will probably drop a bit more due to the weird sci-fi element in it’s sophomore week. I think it clocks out at 80 million.