Yesterday, TRR Staff Writer Christi Junior laid out in detail why the new Ghostbusters film was such flop for Sony Pictures. His case was quite persuasive, so much so that I did a video on it with another TRR regular. A funny thing happened, though. Before I could the video out today, a Hollywood Reporter article confirmed what most of us had already come to believe.
There will be no sequel to this abortion of a movie. Oh, and Sony is set to lose $70 million on this shit pile…
Immediately upon the opening of Ghostbusters in mid-July, top Sony executives boldly declared a sequel to Paul Feig’s all-female reboot of Ivan Reitman’s 1984 classic was a given. “While nothing has been officially announced yet, there’s no doubt in my mind it will happen,” said RoryBruer, president of worldwide distribution at Sony.
That was the studio’s last public mention of a sequel. 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 hardly is alone in suffering from audience rejection of sequels this summer. But film chief Tom Rothman and his team, along with partner Village Roadshow, had high hopes for launching a live-action Ghostbusters “universe.” Now they are preparing for steep losses (think $70 million-plus) and an uncertain future for the franchise.
Sony won’t comment on whether it has banished a sequel to the netherworld, but perhaps tellingly, a rep says the studio actively is pursuing an animated Ghostbusters feature that could hit theaters in 2019 and an animated TV series, Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, which is eyeing an early 2018 bow. Both are being guided by Reitman, who firmly is back in charge of theGhostbusters empire via Ghost Corps., a subsidiary with a mandate to expand the brand across platforms. (It was former Sony film chief Amy Pascal who first embraced Feig’s vision for the live-action reboot, not Reitman or Rothman.)
Early in the year, I thought there was a chance that this fraud version of Ghostbusters could make back it’s money, but the audience buy-in was never there. Perhaps that’s because the creative talents behind the film were more interested in taking a piss all over the base audience than anything else. Many in the media also promoted the film as some kind of feminist triumph when most people go to the movies to be entertained, not engage in activism.
The whole thing was just one fail after another, starting with the budget itself. Had Sony put a tighter leash on the project, spent $50-70 million instead of $144 million, and promoted it to the old fans in a different way, then we might not be here today. But, they didn’t, so let’s laugh at their ineptitude instead. It is sad how they stained the memory of a beloved franchise, but that happens sometimes. My advice would be to try to pretend like this disaster never happened. I know Sony probably wishes they could right now.
Here’s an episode of Rundown that Nora and I did on this topic…