|Budget: $144 million||Financed by: Sony; Village Roadshow; LStar Capital|
|Domestic Gross: $128,350,574||Domestic Distributor: Sony|
|Overseas Gross: $100,796,935|
Directed by: Paul Feig
Produced by: Ivan Reitman
This remake/reboot/continuation of Ghostbusters was financed by Sony, with Village Roadshow contributing 25% of the $144 million budget and LStar Capital (a $200 million equity line at Sony that covers their slate of films) which partially contributed to Sony’s end. Continuing the Ghostbusters franchise had been an uphill battle for years, with the original players Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and director Ivan Reitman given the right to approve or not approve a screenplay for any feature — and to complicate matters, they had to unanimously agree. Bill Murray was the holdout and bad blood between him and Harold Ramis — both refused to speak to each other since Groundhog Day (1993) — made a direct sequel impossible to materialize. Once Ramis passed away, Ivan Reitman relinquished his attachment as director and somehow managed to collect back the rights from Murray and Aykroyd and began active development at Sony on a reboot. Paul Feig was hired as the director and once the first trailer was released, he amassed the vitriol of fanboys for his work. If we only we held our elected officials to the same expectations as our movie directors…
Ghostbusters was positioned as Sony’s big summer tentpole set for release on July 15 and they partially offset their expensive marketing blitz by partnering with dozens of global corporations for near $60 million in promotional tie-ins. Hi-C brought back Hi-C Ecto Cooler, Papa John’s slapped Ghostbusters logos on their pizza boxes, there’s Dave & Buster’s, Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, YoCrunch, Hostess, the NBA, Progressive insurance and so many more. Along with the complaints about an all female Ghostbuster cast, even the Progressive insurance ads were criticized for having the Ghostbuster as a male, as if disguising the fact that the film stars women. As ridiculous as those complaints are, any negativity directed at those goddamn Flo ads will be accepted on this site. With a huge amount of exposure and audience awareness, Ghostbusters had the weekend to itself, with only The Infiltrator opening in a moderately wide release as counter-programming. The film received a lukewarm response from critics and cutting through all the noise and manufactured controversy, Ghostbusters pulled in a solid enough $46,018,755 in 3,963 theaters. Despite the wrath of raging fanboys online, the film was met with an otherwise standard greeting from paying audiences and received a B+ cinemascore. The film did not hold well and Ghostbusters declined 54.3% the following weekend to $21,009,831 and 51.8% in its third frame to $10,125,735. The domestic run closed with $128,350,574 — hardly a terrible number, but a number very dependent on the overseas gross to cover its large budget.
While the original 1984 film is placed on a pedestal by many movie lovers in the US, Ghostbusters is not such a novelty offshore. That could not be any more clear, when in the Sony wikileaks emails, the studio was setting up a semi-wide re-release of the original movie for its 30th anniversary and the many international distribution arms for Sony saw absolutely no interest in the film and declined to give it theatrical rollout. That indifference (and lack of offshore bankable stars) has met this updated Ghostbusters, when its overseas cume stalled at $100.7 million. The worldwide total came to $229.1 million and Sony would see returned about $126 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross. While this would most likely cover the global P&A blitz, little to none of the budget would be dented from the theatrical receipts.