Chinese censors have dashed the hopes of those looking forward to the release of Paul Feig’s Ghosbusters reboot, with the film denied a China release.
The official guidelines dictating which movies will get regulatory approval for the Chinese market prevent the release of any movies that “promote cults or superstition.”
Back in 2006, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was prohibited from being released in China due to its depictions of ghouls, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Since going into production, analysts have kept a close eye on word from the country’s regulators about the film. The Chinese character for “ghost” was even removed from the title in hopes of the film passing the archaic censorship laws.
The original 1984 Ghostbusters never saw Chinese movie theater screens, but its Chinese translation ended up as “Ghost Catcher Dare Die Team.” The reboot is being billed as “Super Power Dare Die Team.”
Senior figures in the industry, however, have come forward to say that censorship was not the only reason for the film’s demise in the Chinese market.
“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,” says one Chinese executive, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Whether it censorship or just a lack of interest in the film, Ghostbusters will not be teaching a new generation of Chinese film-goers who they should call in the event of a supernatural disturbance.
In recent years the Chinese box office has become increasingly important to the success of many Hollywood movies, especially if they have Warcraft in their title.
By Robin Winship