It’s not just my loathing of almost all Asian machismo action spectacle (martial arts, sword and wire ballet) that floats my boat. I’m also indifferent to Japanese anime and manga and regret whatever influence they may have upon modes of 21st Century filmmaking. It therefore goes without saying I never intended to acknowledge, much less see or write about, Rupert SandersGhost In The Shell

The Paramount release not only opened this weekend to sucky reviews but also underperformed — a lousy $19 million from 3,440 theaters. Yes!

The audience was 61% male vs. 39% female. Johansson’s skin-tight outfit plus the sexual aroma of Japanese manga indicated that Ghost In The Shell was basically about giving guys boners, which would explain the less ardent female response. Box Office Mojo‘s Brad Brevet notes that Scarlett Johansson‘s Lucy opened with $43.8 million, due in part to a larger (50%) female following.

I’ve been mainlining movies my entire life, and I don’t even want to know about this weekend’s box-office biggies, much less sit through them. The dismally reviewed Boss Baby (50% Metacritic, 48% Rotten Tomatoes) narrowly edged Beauty and the Beast to win the weekend. Lionsgate’s Power Rangers came in fourth with an estimated $14.5 million. Who watches this shit? It’s April 2nd, and there’s almost nothing I want to see between now and May 1st. Well, two or three.

The only film opening next Friday that I believe to be 100% worthy is Cristian Mungiu‘s Graduation.

Who cares about Going in Style, The Case for Christ and Smurfs: The Lost Village (all opening on 4.7)?

I wouldn’t see The Fate of the Furious (4.14) with a gun to my head, but John Scheinfeld‘s Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, which I saw two-thirds of at Telluride last September, is excellent. I found Joseph Cedar’s Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, also opening on 4.14, decently made (especially for the first 45 minutes) it made me feel weaker and weaker as it went along.

I’m seeing Disney’s Born in China this coming week, and I’m frankly more enthused about this nature doc than anything else opening on 4.21 or 4.28 for that matter. The Circle, How To be A Latin Lover, Sleight…I don’t want to rashly assess but I’m just not feeling the juice. It’s like this every spring — starvation in March and April, a couple of pop-throughs in early May and then the Cannes Film Festival, thank God.