Ghost in the Shell had a disappointing opening weekend at the box office and Paramount has blamed it on the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson’s casting.
Ghost in the Shell hit theaters last weekend, and performed below expectations. It took in $19 million, which is poor in comparison to its $110 million budget. With the movie based on Japanese manga, much has been made about the casting of Johansson in the lead role, with many adamant that the part should have gone to a Japanese actress. Fans recently protested against the whitewashing by using the official movie’s meme maker:
— Valerie Complex (@ValerieComplex) March 11, 2017
Paramount has admitted that the negative response to Johansson’s casting “impacted the reviews” and therefore the box office figures:
“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.” Paramount distribution chief Kyle Davies told CBC news.