It seems like “Ghost in the Shell” was a bigger gamble than the studio was anticipating. The action/sci-fi film starring Scarlett Johansson was released just last week, but Deadline is reporting that the film is projected to lose upwards of $60 million and maybe up to $100 million.
Based on a worldwide projected gross of $200 million, “Ghost in the Shell” is said to be on track to lose $60 million for Paramount and Dreamworks. However, these numbers are based on a reported budget and P&A cost of $250 million. That being said, rumors are circulating that the actual production budget of the film was way more than the reported $110 million, and might have exceeded $180 million, which would drive the total losses up to over $100 million after everything is said and done.
Clearly, this is far from the success that the studios had anticipated. In hindsight, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to the studio. Controversy surrounded the project well before anything was even filmed. When Scarlett Johansson was cast in the leading role, and other white actors surrounded her, fans of the franchise cried foul. The news surrounding the film kept coming back to the “whitewashing” accusations, no matter how much the filmmakers tried to deflect.
On top the controversy, the film just isn’t very good. Currently sitting at a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Ghost In The Shell” was generally disliked by critics, with most talking about how the film is just plain boring. It appears that for all of the film’s fancy special effects and beautiful production design, there just wasn’t much beyond the pretty pictures.
Of course, the studio can spin this news in a number of ways. Talking about how difficult it is to adapt Japanese anime and manga properties, or just blaming the marketing campaign, which had its fair share of snafus. At the end of the day, the truth is that the film just won’t make enough money, and will go down as one of the bigger box office failures of 2017.