Ok, so here’s the truth… we did not hate the Ghostbusters reboot. And we were worried from day one (I’m tired of having to defend myself here but such is this subject) and it wasn’t because of the cast or director, it was because Sony seemed lost at sea when it came to Ghostbusters, and the announcement that it was a reboot only cemented our fears.
But, when the movie was released we went with an open mind and we liked it – you can read our review here – heck, I’ve seen it more than once.
But the problem was that the movie was plagued from the beginning – fans hated the idea of a reboot, the whole sexist thing, director Feig and star Melissa McCarthy saying things that annoyed the fans and, let’s be honest, the trailers did the movie no favours – and now we’re seeing the results of that being reaped.
Now, after the hate and aggravation director Paul Feig received – not to mention the appalling abuse of star Leslie Jones on Twitter – he has announced that he will never do a reboot or remake again.
Speaking to The Huffington Post Feig was asked if he’d ever do another reboot? His answer left no room for misinterpretation: “No, no, no! No, I will not!”
He said that directing Ghsotbusters was “just too tempting because I knew we could do something with it that was exciting,” but it seems the whole event was something he never wants to do again and, love the movie or hate it, who can blame him?
However the bad news continues as the box office numbers mean that, at the minute at least, a sequel to Ghostbusters or any other live action Ghostbusters movies are unlikely.
Which is quite a turn around as only a couple of weeks ago Sony was confident Ghostbusters was the next big franchise (here).
However: “As of Aug. 7, Ghostbusters had earned just under $180 million at the global box office, including $117 million domestic. The film still hasn’t opened in a few markets, including France, Japan and Mexico, but box-office experts say it will have trouble getting to $225 million despite a hefty net production budget of $144 million plus a big marketing spend. The studio has said break-even would be $300 million.”
Sony did have big plans for the franchise, with the think tank, dubbed Ghost Corp, working on future ideas for the series and it seems that at the very least we’ll see an animated universe continue in the vein of The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters, with an animated movie set for 2019 and the set in the future Ghostbusters: Ecto Force in production already.
It also seems that the franchise, whatever it will be moving forward, is back in the hands of Ivan Reitman, director of the first two movies, who is frontrunner on Ghost Corp. It’s unclear what role Sony Chief Amy Pascal will play moving forward – but it was her who okayed the Feig reboot.
It is unclear if Feig would even be willing to return for a sequel if it were to go ahead, though we do know the four ladies – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon – all have a three picture deal but with box-office analyst Jeff Bock reporting: “Ghostbusters is on ice until further notice. I just can’t fathom the creative talents behind it — Feig, McCarthy, Wiig, etc. — slogging out another one when the reception to the first one was so mediocre.”
Sony is, however, saying that the reported loss of $70m is an exaggeration and isn’t taking into account other areas of marketing such as a new Ghostbusters exhibit at Madame Tussauds and a theme park ride in Dubai. And they say that sales and rentals of the 1984 original movie were pretty impressive in the lead up to the new movie.
“This loss calculation is way off,” says a Sony rep.
“With multiple revenue streams, including consumer products, gaming, location-based entertainment, continued international rollout, and huge third-party promotional partnerships that mitigated costs, the bottom line, even before co-financing, is not remotely close to that number.”
Whatever happens, the facts are that the movie wasn’t the disaster many feared it would be but once the studio decided to alienate the fans by rebooting a franchise that was still healthy after over 30 years things took a turn for the worst.
The fans spoke loudly and, to this observer, the studio didn’t listen; in fact, it seemed to dig its heels in in spite of itself.
No-one (real fans at least) wanted a new cast or an all-men team, all they wanted was respect for the original movies and the massive fan base it has built up. Ghostbusters, as we’ve said before, is more than just a movie to many, many people – it’s important; it matters. And Sony, to their detriment, lost sight of that and sadly, it looks like the fandom has spoken.
The really sad thing is that Ghostbusters had a very bright future ahead of it… but Sony just couldn’t see it.