Scarlett Johansson's 'Ghost in the Shell' Headed for Minimum $60M Loss

While Johansson does shine, we've seen her in enough movies of this ilk: Lucy, Her and the Marvel movies. I'm always a sucker for truly classic cyberpunk, and Ghost in The Shell brings the film's world to life in a truly breath-taking way.

Ghost in the Shell is now playing in New Zealand cinemas.

According to a breakdown of the film's precarious financial situation by Deadline's Anthony D'Alessandro, Ghost in the Shell - starring Scarlett Johansson - was supposed to launch a multi-movie franchise for DreamWorks and Paramount. I think? And, I'm willing to bet there's a far few folks out there who think that Ghost in the Shell's somewhat underwhelming critical reception is exclusively, or at least largely, due to that controversy surrounding it.

But the problem is, we're missing the ghost in this shell.

When it was released in 1995, "Ghost in the Shell" was far from the first movie to explore themes of technological anxiety and existential dread; both "Blade Runner" and "RoboCop", two groundbreaking sci-fi movies in their own right, had come out years earlier.

By the end, Mira learns that her real identity is actually Motoko Kusanagi (the name of the character in the original manga), and she reunites with her Japanese birth mother. Left to answer for the film's commercial failure, Davies has placed the blame on the controversy over tapping confirmed white woman Johansson to portray an Asian role, to which the whole of the internet will now respond with a hearty "DA-DOY".

So Ghost in the Shell is no Pollock or The Last Word, or Kong: Skull Island, for that matter.

That question will only take on more urgency as movie markets expand around the globe and audience expectations change here at home. The negative reviews may have contributed to turning audiences away.

Now that Ghost in the Shell is out and performing poorly, the "just wait and see" approach taken by the movie's stars as well as its studio has hit its expiration date. Instead of feeling like it's been beamed from a distant future, it plays like an artifact of a rapidly receding past.

  • Salvatore Jensen