Paramount has a interesting situation on their hands, it appears that Scarlett Johansson will not be making the same box office numbers as Marvel. Animated feature Boss Baby will win the weekend with $51.6 million. Ghost In The Shell will come in after Beauty and the Beast with $20.3 million. The opening numbers have not been finalized there is still Saturday and Sunday to account for.
According to BoxOffice Mojo, Friday numbers are as follows; Boss Baby at $15.5 million, Beauty and the Beast at $13 million, and Ghost in the Shell at $7.6 million.
Deadline attempts to explain this failure by suggesting Scarlett Johansson’s lack of social media presence did not encourage moviegoers to see the film. Also, Paramount’s release strategy to critics was problematic as the set the press screening on Wednesday, the day where all member of the industry were attending CinemaCon. When studios attempt to deter bad press or reviews they place holds on reviews until opening day or they will set press days at inopportune or inconvenient times.
“Lastly, in regards to Ghost, whenever a studio hides a movie from the press, you know something is up. Here in L.A., Paramount scheduled an all-media screening last Wednesday when the bulk of the industry’s vital press corps were covering CinemaCon. Well, there’s no such thing as a coincidence, and Paramount didn’t offer up any earlier screenings for those journalists wanting to see the film ahead of the exhibitor confab.”
Deadline makes excellent points, however, the main issue here is the whitewashing. Whitewashing is what dominated social media, had Scarlett Johansson been on social media she would be targeted by audiences and fans all day, everyday. One does not need to look far into the past to see that when large blockbuster films have whitewashing they fail at the box office. They also tend to fail critically and are bogged down by scrutiny via social media. For example Gods of Egypt was made on a $140 million dollar budget only pulled in a $150 million. Studio’s need to make double their budget to break even to be considered a success. Ghost in the Shell must make $220 million to be considered a success, and make $300-400 to make Paramount a profit. These numbers also do not include ad spending, and other promotional expenses. A further analysis will be made Monday.