Hollywood is a global industry. When American, summer tentpoles are marketed to audiences abroad, extravagantly-produced pop music sung by commercial artists you have never heard of serve as franchise ambassadors. They promote American blockbusters for international moviegoers who may not totally get, say, Star Wars at first glance.
This week, some of Japan’s most popular female comedians — Tomochika, Oniyakko Tsubaki, Naomi Watanabe, and Shizuyo Yamasaki — teamed up and dressed up like Ghostbusters for a cover of the 1984 Ray Parker theme to advertise the upcoming reboot from Paul Feig, which also stars female comedians, or so I’ve heard.
It’s a silly, funny video that is surprisingly GIF-worthy, and the song is a near replica of the original Parker theme, unlike whatever the hell Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliot concocted. Here, the comedians rock the new Ghostbuster suits and Proton Packs with gusto, clearly having a ton of fun in a music video spliced with scenes from the movie, just like movie-sponsored pop music in the ‘90s.
But did you know Ghostbusters isn’t the only movie to get a foreign beat? A slew of high-profile Hollywood movies have had whole “official” songs with international pop stars serving as ambassadors to Hollywood exports.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
In China, 25-year-old pop star LuHan — whose moppy hair, baby face, and trap-inspired beats make him China’s analog to Justin Bieber — released “The Inner Force,” the official song for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in China. Besides the footage of LuHan singing in a warehouse in normal clothes, there’s also cheesy green screen shots of LuHan in a Jedi robe walking the deserts of Jakku.
Kung-Fu Panda 3
LuHan strikes again, this time with “Deep” used to promote DreamWorks’s Kung-Fu Panda 3.
Now You See Me 2
Now You See Me 2 had a big push in China, with pop sensation Jay Chou in a supporting role. So, of course, they made Chou release music, the result being “Now You See Me,” a poppy track in the style of Asian hip-hop Chou is known for.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
For the Japanese release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Japan recruited Swedish singer Wrethov for an emotional ballad that dominated the movie’s Japanese trailers.
Though Fito Blanko is signed to Pitbull’s label, the Panamanian artist’s song “Meneo” was featured as a part of the Furious 7 marketing hype machine. While pop listeners in America were shedding tears because of Wiz Khalifa’s tribute to Paul Walker in “See You Again,” Latin America was having the time of their life with Fit Blanko’s upbeat and infectious raggaeton hit.