Chinese fans of Ghostbusters are going to be left disappointed if it’s confirmed that the all-female remake did not make it past China’s censorship boards.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Sony blockbuster was denied a Chinese release, despite the distributor’s many attempts to sway censorship regulators. This includes changing the film’s original Chinese title in April to “”, which translates to “Super power dare die team” to omit any “ghost” references.
In a nine-page censorship guideline that was released in December, it stated that China prohibits content that “promote cults or superstition.”
Despite speculation, sources close to Chinese regulators have hinted that Paul Fieg’s Ghostbusters will not be seeing the light of day in China not due to its supernatural theme, but more so because it lacked appeal to the Chinese audience.
“It’s been confirmed that Ghostbusters won’t be coming to China, because they think it’s not really that attractive to Chinese audiences,” one Chinese executive told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
This ban will come as a big blow to Sony, especially since China ranks No. 2 in the movie market, with moviegoers spending a reported 17 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) on tickets in 2015.
Thanks to the Chinese box office, foreign films such as Kung Fu Panda 3 managed to surpass even its U.S box office sales, by raking in $57 million in its opening week in China.
Ghostbusters is not the first Hollywood film to be slapped with a ban. Back in 2006, Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest didn’t make it onto China’s big screens either for featuring ghosts.
Sony Pictures has yet to comment about the possible ban.
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