A lot was riding on the success of Ghost in the Shell. The upcoming wave of anime adaptations such as Death Note and Akira, Paramount Pictures’ chance for a new sci-fi franchise led by Scarlett Johansson, and the chance to stymie the steadily-growing outcry against whitewashing.
But when Ghost in the Shell limped into theaters last weekend, bringing in a meager $20 million domestically on a $110 million budget, that may have spelled the end for Hollywood adaptations of anime classics. But this is not the first time Hollywood has tried and failed to remake a critically and financially successful film based on an Asian property — nor will it be the last time. The question I’m interested in answering is whether or not these Hollywood adaptations of Asian movies actually make money. Let’s look at the numbers.
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Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
“Who would win in a fight?” is the great conversation starter. You yell about it on the playground. You debate the finer points in the bar. Who you back in a match-up between two fictional characters can sometimes say a lot about you and your tastes. Batman or Superman? Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees? Alien or predator?
And now we’ve reached peak versus with the arrival of Sadako vs Kayako, which pits the evil spirits from The Ring and The Grudge against each other in an absurd supernatural throwdown. In one corner, you have a longhaired young woman with a penchant for possessing outdated physical media. In the other, you have a broken-bodied, frog-throated demoness who really doesn’t like visitors. And when they do fight, will anyone care?
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The Grudge has been around for a good while. It’s nearly at the fifteen-year anniversary mark. (If you count the very first short installment, actually, we’ve passed that milestone.) So now it’s evidently time to reboot The Grudge in the US.
Well before producers Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert recruited Takashi Shimizu to direct the first American Grudge installment, there were four in Japan. Shimizu directed all: two Ju-on films for television and two theatrical versions. (The first theatrical one was loosely remade as the first US film.)
Then there are additional sequels, a video game, and novel and manga adaptations. There are the two American films, also directed by Shimizu, and a little-seen third US film released in 2009. The series remains popular, so naturally efforts are now afoot to re-do the series for American audiences.
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Lately, a day doesn’t go by without news or rumor of new remakes. We’ve already heard about Flatliners today, and here are two more that fall slightly more in the rumor category.
First up, Ghost House Pictures (Sam Raimi’s company) and Mandate are reportedly planning a new re-do of The Grudge. That’s a horror series that has a slightly complicated history, as it began with two DTV Japanese films, which spawned two theatrical Japanese films and then an American remake, all directed by Takashi Shimizu. Two sequels, one theatrical and one DTV were made to follow the US film. And now there might be a new film that remakes one of the Japanese films or otherwise reboots the series. Mo further detail is available so far. [BD]
After the break, the ’80s South American caper film Romancing the Stone, originally directed by Robert Zemeckis, is still on the remake pile, and may be closer to ‘go’ status. Read More »
25-year-old Massachusetts-based graphic artist Brandon Schaefer has created an impressive collection of retro-minimal movie posters. The Ghostbusters-inspired posters above have been making the internet rounds recently, but Schaefer has a huge portfolio of posters, some of which can even be purchased as prints on inPRNT.com. Check out some of his posters, after the jump.
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