Ghost in the Shell Movie “Flops Dismally”


Hollywood’s live action Ghost in the Shell movie has apparently flopped as it has only generated about $18 million in box office takings ($40.1 million internationally) during its opening weekend, with the film’s excoriation by anime fans now backed up by regular critics…

Though the film managed to land at #3 at the U.S. box office, its $58.1 million in sales come nowhere near its $110 million production costs (excluding the likely gargantuan marketing budget) – and considering opening weekends are usually when movies make the most money, it is likely only downhill from here.

Despite some immediately claiming the whitewashing controversy to be the major cause of Ghost in the Shell’s downfall, the colossal abundance of negative reviews imply that the film itself might have also played a role as most believed the story failed to properly utilize the complex issues of cyborg identity which characterized the original.

The film’s failure has proved shocking to few as live action adaptations of popular anime tend to commonly share the same fate – the only upside to the disaster perhaps being how fat Masamune Shirow’s wallet must be by now…

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    Comment by Anonymous
    23:05 05/04/2017 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Surprising a grand total of 5 people in the process.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:37 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I am one of them. Am I destined to die like the meat bags in Final Destination?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:10 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Most of us here are so fated.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:37 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    I remember seeing lots of comments on Sankaku going on about how amazing the film was going to be and attacking anyone who thought otherwise.

    But then, they were probably just trolling.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:28 06/04/2017 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    They should have learned a thing or two from dragon ball evolution's failure, and from rorouni kenshin's success.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:46 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kenshin live action was just lucky because the movie is actually pretty bad, they tried to fit too much story in less than 2 hours of movie. The result was a very rushed script with a lot of nonsense in it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:53 07/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    3 successful movies is not "just lucky".

    You can argue how you like about how "bad" you found the movie, but enough people liked it and watched it to spawn 3 movies, which is no small thing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:07 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    yeah, because Attack on Titan was a gem of a movie... pfft!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:20 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Kenshin was with casting Japanese actors for Japanese characters; for AOT it was casting Japanese as Western characters, which is as bad as casting Western actors as Dragonball characters.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:12 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Now I wonder, so the whole problem is in the race of the casting? Cause in this movie, Motoko is clearly Japanese when she appears, and while others like Aramaki, Togusa, I think Saito too were clearly japanese, well, I guess Batou, light black guy who I think may have been Ishikawa, and girl who I have no idea who she was, who should have been japanese like the original are the ones that fucked everything up I guess...

    It couldn't be Scarlet Johannson, since she was just a robotic body made by a female scientist who made her like a daughter, who never appears in the original, who is called Mila whatever for all the movie until she finds out her brain is from a japanese girl named Motoko and Hanka industries failed to give her a body that properly identifies how she should auto-identify.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:35 08/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    The fuck they didn't. It was pretty damn true to the source material. They changed a few things up for this version, but it ultimately didn't really matter in the end. Motoko is still Motoko, albeit having gone through some weird memory erasure/brainwashing subplot this time around.

    She's always had a generic caucasian body. She never looked asian. She might have originally been, but she long discarded her actual looks when she went full prosthetic in her younger years in the original storyline.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:46 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    To be honest, I had nothing wrong with the concept behind the live adaptation of GitS, but when I heard ScarJo will play Motoko I instantly dropped interest in it. Couldn't care less about race or anything, but ScarJo was definitely miscast for the role.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:35 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think the whole problem is Hollywood (and seemingly game localization teams) tend to be arrogant, and don't respect or understand the source material. They seem to be filled with people who think they can do better, so they change shit. Or they just don't care to begin with.

    Avatar of #28 Savage
    Comment by #28 Savage
    08:27 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    The world of Dragonball just doesn't translate well to the silver screen regardless of what ethnicity actors are cast. Some things don't make good live action, and you know what - that's just fine.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:04 06/04/2017 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Ghost in the Shell 2017 is good movie

    Comment by Anonymous

    movie good is 2017 Shell the in Ghost

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    01:55 06/04/2017 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    "People doesn't want any of that deep, philosophical crap, they are stupid, they watch Transformers for fucks sake. So let's give them another "transformers" and be done with it"

    That's what they thought?

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    06:39 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I think what everyone felt was 'I really want this to be good, but they really will not be brave enough to make Kusanagi as badass as she actually was. And the part most can't articulate is that she's badass not because she can kill people, but because of her ability to cope with what it means to the world to be a cyborg and sacrifice your identity for the power to protect identity as a whole.'

    The matrix being based on this got it right, and which is why it was a hit and respected the audience's intelligence. One of my favorite lines from Men in Black is still 100% true: "A person is smart. 'People' are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

    Movies are for individuals, regardless of a theater. So if you respect their intelligence without being heavy-handed, it'll land well most of the time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:17 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    hit the nail on the head there

    Avatar of #28 Savage
    Comment by #28 Savage
    08:24 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @Rikuu: "But, but just turn your brain off bro. Its much easier to enjoy a 'popcorn' summer blockbuster that way."

    - Michael Bay fanboy logic

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:27 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    hollywood stupidity at its finest

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:04 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Literally read what the director himself has said about how he went about adapting this series he has always loved so much for western audiences, it says it all. I cant find the quote right now but he spoke of what made the 1995 film so great and then went on to ironically say that all of that would be too strange for a live action adaptation and for western mass audiences and he decided to take it out. You know, the long, drawn out, emotionally rendering scenes... the ones that make you reflect on what's happened in the story up to that point and how it as affected the Major's character and how we see her. He just wanted to take the cool action scenes and remove everything else, really.

    He's just a fanboy second, business man first... too bad he sucks at being either one. This guy is the only thing worse than another Michael Bay: a wannabe Michael Bay.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:54 07/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Meh, The Matrix already did that 15 years ago - They blatantly ripped of many of GitS action scenes, and kept the cyperpunk theme, but went easy on the philosophy stuff... and created some pretty nice movies.

    Thing though, no matter what you do, if you're a talentless hack, your movie is going to suck.

    Avatar of molitar
    Comment by molitar

    You are not going to be able to make a complex story like Ghost in the Shell where non anime viewers can follow the story in a 2 hour period.

    It is NOT going to happen! They were not out to fuck people they had to make the story something the masses would be able to follow. The anime was not 4-5 episodes for 2 hours or there would have been no story!

    People need to quit expecting so much from a Live Action. It is this reason that all anime and live action films will stop when they lose such money.

    They took a huge gamble and than everyone gave it such negative reviews that even those that have no idea what GHOST IN THE SHELL is would not watch it!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:15 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The original animated Ghost in the Shell movie, from 1995, was 82 minutes long. It has an overall 96% approval rating.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:20 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    And now they have the galls to blame it on the original, calling it not that good in the first place.

    F them and their Git bluedogShat.

    Anime and the manga source is doing fine until non-supporting, non-watching F came along trying to dictate their terms, trying to ban shat, while trying to capitalize on the source.

    Had this been a success, they might have even pulled a fast one Robotech style, and that is not the first, nor the last time they pulled this sort of stunt.

    Shame WETA is involved in this mess, but their other works speaks for itself.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:55 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    01:49 06/04/2017 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Moral of story: Keep anime and Hollywood seperate.

    Avatar of SomeDuder
    Comment by SomeDuder
    02:18 06/04/2017 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I'm sure that cartoons can be adapted for real-life actors.

    The question is, why would you? The only reason I can think of is money. The dumb, popcorn-eating masses don't go to the theater to watch a cartoon. They go to watch White House Down. Transformers (Micheal Bay's version). Zoolander 2 (Not the first, obviously, since that one was fantastic). SNIPER MAN. ARE HEROS VS BROWN BEARDS 2 - ALLAH BOOGALOO. Et cetera.

    GitS is a story about humanity. It's got action, but not pointless action. It's got nudity, but it's presented in a non-sexual way (Well, as long as we're not talking about the comic...).

    Billy Bob doesn't want to think after a hard day of punching his wife and slacking on his job. He wants to watch a bare midriff Megan Fox deliver lines in a dry way.

    So if you want to draw the crowds, you cast Johansson, feature a terrible plot and call it a day.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:39 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It felt hollow and like nobody cared. The art directors obviously had a passion for the project, but I felt like they put effort into a cheap cash-in that didn't care about the original themes or arcs. You don't need to copy the source material to be faithful, it's like they missed the point of the whole series.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:55 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually the art was WORSE than the actors. I kinda liked Batou, honestly, even if he perhaps was more different than the actual GITS guy: he tried to act, something which Johansson didn't bother to do (or maybe her script was "look puzzled", I don't know who is at fault here). At least he seemed to have emotions. Generic videogame random friendly guy emotions, but emotions.
    I mean, fucking Kitano seemed to have been stoned to death here. Kitano, forchrissake. That's an achievement, seriously. But Batou was perhaps relatively believable, and the french doctor was given something to work on as well.

    But the art... the art was honestly more than bad. I was embarassed seeing that, having gone to the theater to see what amounted to the artistical vision of a bad fanmovie about Blade Runner. Not GITS, mind you, but specifically BR, a 35 old movie. Yeah, there are the parts in which they sheepishly copy GITS 95*, but the movie itself is a less hazy/rainy Blade Runner. The city is ONE THING. Hyper-cheery holographic billboards and crazy neon seedy shops/bars in the same color palette. Aside from the action which isn't even using them (the action isn't only boring, it's not even large-scale), they almost always use dark abandoned industrial hallways, and some "I'm a rich corporation with too much money" 90's offices with a side of bad taste.
    There is NOTHING ELSE. This isn't passion: it's literally taking the most "iconic" thing, cyberpunk cliché locations 101, and repeat it ad nauseam. I don't think I saw a movie with so little creativity in imagining the future in years. It was ghastly. Hell, the apartment of Motoko's mother in the end is probably the BEST location, honest. At least it makes the world seem populated by humans for a minute.

    They say the script/story is the worst part and I agree, but the art department was unredeamable as well.
    (aside from the costumes. They weren't GOOD by any means but the very small things they actually got when not creating Generic Bad Mook Number 103 or sheepishly copying a movie that the moviemakers weren't for the most part giving a fuck about... they were kinda working. The prostitute and the butchers' look were almost intriguing, at this point maybe they should've worked more with the main guys to give them some personality)

    *=movie is so bad that I dont' think the most rabid SJW would bitch at the racelift after seeing it, nor the most rabid fanboy would bitch at the fact that the Jem movie was more faithful to the source material, but it's worth pointing out that they took only the 1995 movie. There is not an inch of the manga (which was expected, to be sure) but there is no indication they saw SAC or Innocence.
    Jesus Christ, at least Michael Bay's team probably DID watch the whole Transformers' series.

    Avatar of KingFisher
    Comment by KingFisher
    15:43 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not so much not caring about the original themes more like half-caring but not having the balls to go head deep. Also they adapted and mixed way too many different stories together from the GiTs franchise. Arise, Stand Alone Project and then the original anime film. Yup....they tried to respect the filim with eye candy and visual accuracy but just had no balls for the mental game, thinking that the majority of viewers might be the general public and too stupid to care about complex ordeas. Then again Hollywood is all very liberal. And you now how liberals don't care about facts or complex ideas (unless it's made up bullshit to defame something they don't like).

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:01 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You made a big mistake there. Billy ob doesn't have a job, it's his wife who brings the bacon home...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:54 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)


    No it will never work.. give it a rest and let live action die out.

    Comment by Anonymous

    But according to your views then this movie should have been a super hit... I think there are far less billy bobs out there these days than you think. In fact arent the billy bobs those guys who dont even watch movies anymore because they think they're jewish mind control or something? They're just gonna watch Duck Dynasty all day instead.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:10 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    No. Mral is to make movies that represents original more, than hollywood stereotypes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:38 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Moral of story: watch older films because they tend to be a lot better.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:30 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Edge of Tomorrow was quite alright. It's possible, if they know what they're doing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:33 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Edge of Tomorrow barely broke even for the studio. You have to consider that with marketing and everything else, you need to make at least double your production budget to break even.

    For example a movie with a budget of $150 million can lose a studio a lot of money if it only grosses $250 million. This is because studios only get a percentage of ticket sales, and marketing costs are always so huge.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:12 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    I dont care how much money it made. Some of the greatest films were flops. Edge of Tomorrow did the whole americanization/whitewashing thing too, but at least it mostly kept faithful to the spirit of what it was adapting, resulting in well earned critical acclaim while being entertaining at the same time. Honestly, even for anyone who didnt like it you have to admit it was the best or maybe even only good western adaptation of a Manga/Anime so far.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:01 07/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    For people discussing the earnings etc... look up "Hollywood accounting" before going to bananas with the numbers.

    Pretty much every single movie officially "barely breaks even" or "loses money".

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:09 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    but it was a good movie though. there are plenty of examples of good movies not doing so well at the box office.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:19 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've not watched it before, so I'll have to take your word on it. But these days production & marketing budgets for movies are ridiculously huge.

    For example Alice Through The Looking Glass

    Budget: $170 million
    Gross: $299.5 million

    Disney lost $65 million from the movie.

    Avatar of #28 Savage
    Comment by #28 Savage
    08:31 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Critical acclaim =/= box office success. Also, the source material (manga or light novel) was not a well-known nor very successful in terms of sales either. But it served as a good blueprint to adapting from one medium to another.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:51 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    That was adaptation of light novel though... so it probably doesn't count.

    Avatar of DieHardjagged
    Comment by DieHardjagged
    01:11 06/04/2017 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I think the main problem is.. the Movie TRIES really FUCKING HARD to combine EVERY source of Ghost in the Shell, to combine it into one Movie.. and it just doesnt work that way.. unless the Movie copied the Manga 1:1 which i just dont know.
    The thing is.. from what i saw they just mashed together the Stories of the First Anime Movie, then some plot from the Animated Series by adding its "Villain" into its Story while also referencing the Puppetmaster, sigh, i could go fucking on forever mentioning what they mashed together, but i just dont have the time to do this.

    Shortly said, its a fucking Mess, it may look really fucking pretty, but theres no Soul inside it..

    Avatar of #28 Savage
    Comment by #28 Savage
    08:37 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    So it's just a pretty Shell of itself with no soul.
    Hollywood superficiality. Who would of thought?

    Avatar of DieHardjagged
    Comment by DieHardjagged
    23:24 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes.. we dont know yet, but it could very well be that the Akira and Alita Movies could turn out like GITS, if they dont learn from Gits Mistake..

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:56 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I don't think it would have mattered if the lead was Asian or not. When you throw $110 million + at least 70-80+ million marketing at an anime franchise. You're going to have a bad time.

    Realistically you need to think a lot smaller. Probably $40-60 mill budget. Ghost in the Shell just doesn't have the pulling power to attract a mainstream audience for a live action movie.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:40 06/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reminds me of articles I read several years ago about how Hollywood pisses away budget money like nothing. Don't know how common that is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:06 07/04/2017 # ! Neutral (0)

    That would be down to the hugely inflated wages some of these stars command. And lots of somewhat pointless VFX. Some movies put some much VFX into their scenes, almost like they're trying to make up for a poor plot by giving people pretty things to look at.

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