“Ghost in the Shell” opened to $19 million last weekend, less than half what “The Boss Baby” made over the same three days. The film received backlash for the better part of a year due to its casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, which Paramount executive Kyle Davies now admits played a part in the film’s disappointing financial take so far.
“We had hopes for better results domestically. I think the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews,” said Davies, Paramount’s domestic distribution chief. “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.”
First published in 1989, Masamune Shirow’s beloved manga was previously adapted as an anime film in 1995; Johansson’s character had always been portrayed as Japanese before. Read Davies’ full interview here.