Other than Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning 2000 action drama “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — which hauled in $128 million at the U.S. box office but didn’t do nearly as much business in China (although the country’s box office was significantly smaller then) — the country’s homegrown movies haven’t been able to travel well. American entertainment lawyer Sky Moore, who works closely with Chinese studios, called a crossover hit the “holy grail” for them.
After years of hype, Legendary’s would-be China-U.S. crossover epic “The Great Wall” crumbled at the box office, earning just $18.1 million during its opening weekend in North America on an estimated $150 million production budget. (The projection for the four-day holiday is $21 million.)
Worse, director Zhang Yimou’s English-language fantasy epic starring Matt Damon didn’t prove to be much of a blockbuster in China either, reeling in a disappointing $170.4 million since it opened in December.
“That movie became one of the worst movies in China,” Wang Haige, chairman of the Huading Awards.
The Departed was a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs. The Departed was recast with white actors. It grossed $132.4 million in the United States and Canada and $157.5 million in other territories for a total gross of $289.8 million, against a production budget of $90 million.
Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.
Ghost in the Shell opened to just $7.7 million across 3,440 location on Friday and is now tracking for a meager $20 million opening weekend. That’s a bad sign for the big budget adaptation of Shirow Masamune’s cyberpunk manga and anime, which cost the studio $110 million to make. The film has drawn criticism for casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role as the Major, who is referred to in the anime as manga as Major Motoko Kusanagi, a native of Japan where the film takes place.
The new Ghost in the Shell is 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. The original was 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The 2004 Shall We Dance remake of a 1996 Japanese original. The original japanese movie made roughly $9.7 million during its US release. In the pre-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon era, made Shall We Dance? the highest-grossing foreign film playing in its original language with subtitles in US box office history