It has enjoyed solid praise from the critics and earned over $65 million at the box office in just a matter of days, but the new Ghostbusters movie could be doomed, thanks to a potential ban in China.
According to Variety, the female-led film is unlikely to get a release in the critical market, as the country’s state-run film board prohibits depiction of the supernatural.
Production company Sony has already attempted to appease Chinese censors by renaming the film “Super Power Dare-to-Die Team”, but sources told the show-biz outlet that wouldn’t be enough to get it the green light.
If that’s the case, it would undoubtedly be a massive blow to the $144m film’s international box-office takings, given China serves as the second-largest movie-going market in the world.
Ghostbusters certainly wouldn’t be the first US film to suffer the setback. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and gothic horror Crimson Peak starring Tom Hiddleston also fell afoul of China’s film board and failed to secure release in the country.
There are exceptions to the regulations, reports The Guardian. But they only relate to ghost stories based on Chinese mythology or to films in which the supernatural is explained by a realistic rationale, such as a dream or drug-induced hallucination.