Shocking Revelation: Ghost In The Shell Exec Says Hopes Had Been For Better Box Office Results

Posted by April 6, 2017 Comment

GHOST IN THE SHELL

The winner of the Silliest Statement Made by a Studio Executive award for this week, Paramount distribution chief Kyle Davies was discussing the box office results for Ghost in the Shell with CBC:

We had hopes for better results domestically. I think the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews.

You’ve got a movie that is very important to the fanboys since it’s based on a Japanese anime movie. So you’re always trying to thread that needle between honoring the source material and make a movie for a mass audience. That’s challenging, but clearly the reviews didn’t help.

We can even choose to let the derogatory use of the term fanboys slide, but Kyle is missing the main thrust of most of the poor reviews. Perusing over any sampling of the reviews that are out there will indeed touch on the whitewashing claims, but most of them review and rate it notwithstanding the race of the various cast members.

His comment that “..the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews,” seems to mean he’s not actually read most of them.

The RT summaries say it pretty clearly:

  • A flimsy copy of a copy, one that recreates some of the anime’s set-pieces nearly shot for shot, but then pares away nearly everything else that made the original a classic.
  • It’s unfortunate, if predictable, that Hollywood found it necessary to almost entirely eliminate deep think in favor of deep action.
  • It gets bogged down in aesthetics that are stimulating only for the sake of stimulation, seemingly without a flicker of thought behind them. Shell indeed, but there’s no ghost at home.
  • For a film that is constantly obsessed with the notion of identity and the soul, Ghost in the Shell is a film lacking personality and spirit
Overall the casting while it spurred a great deal of pre-release discussion, the impact of the reviews comes from the straight up fact that Paramount produced a genuinely dull and uninspiring film. In the studio’s efforts to make a story for the mass audience, it seems to have missed the magic that might have been brought over from the source material. Almost as if they were unwittingly playing into their own film’s storyline of they keep trying to make a lifelike replica of a human, but they best they’ve gotten so far is something that might look pretty, but has no soul and no depth.
It’s rare that studios are ever accused of bravery, but somewhere along the lines if they want to compete with the classics, they’ll have to have some faith that “mass audience” doesn’t mean playing to the lowest common denominator. At the very least, they should understand the kinds of actions which will cause a huge amount of white noise (pun not fully intended) during the run up to a film’s release and not be shocked when they get called on the carpet. And as an added benefit they should actually read reviews and understand that sometimes their writers just produce lackluster ghosts of original versions.
Bah, fanboys indeed.

(Last Updated April 6, 2017 1:11 am )

About Bill Watters

Games programmer by day, geek culture and fandom writer by night. You’ll find me writing most often about tv and movies with a healthy side dose of the goings-on around the convention and fandom scene.

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