Struggles at Paramount

On KCRW’s The Business podcast, Kim Masters talks with Matt Belloni, the editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, about the struggles that Paramount’s new CEO Jim Gianopulos faces. After the ousting of the previous leadership, Gianopulos is stepping into an interesting situation with one of his first tasks being the quelling of the backlash against their recent blockbuster film Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansen. The film has been criticized for casting an white actor in a role that was previously depicted as Japanese in the original source material; moreover, Paramount has acknowledged that this backlash has hurt both the critics reviews, as well as its box office performance, which is unfortunate as Masters points out that the film cost over $100 million to make. This Ghost in the Shell backlash is just one of the issues that Gianopulos is facing with other important issues like the financing of future films by Chinese companies being in jeopardy that could amount to nearly a billion dollars. Belloni touches on this issue claiming that the uncertainty of Paramount’s leadership have made some of these companies second guess their investments and Gianopulous will have a difficult time dealing with this uncertainty because of Ghost in the Shell and a lack of major franchises going forward.

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