New “Ghostbusters” Banned In China?

Sony Pictures’ “Ghostbusters” reboot has been denied release in China according to sources close to China Film Co. for THR.

China’s official censorship guidelines technically prohibit movies that “promote cults or superstition,” a holdover from the Communist Party’s secular ideology, with the country’s regulators occasionally using this obscure provision as rationale for banning films that feature ghosts or supernatural beings. Such a provision was used to ban the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film.

Speculation about such a ban increased this spring when it was revealed that the Chinese character for “ghost” had been removed from the Chinese title for the reboot which goes by the name of “Super Power Dare Die Team.” In fact one source says the film hasn’t been officially submitted for approval by Chinese regulators.

A Chinese executive tells the trade: “Its been confirmed that Ghostbusters won’t be coming to China, because they think it’s not really that attractive to Chinese audiences. Most of the Chinese audience didn’t see the first and second movies, so they don’t think there’s much market for it here.”

Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones star in the reboot which opens around much of the rest of the world this week.