by Graham Pierrepoint
Unless you’ve stayed well away from the world of cinema this year, you’ll likely recall that one of the more divisive offerings on display in theaters this summer was Ghostbusters – and that was before it had even been released. A reboot of the popular spectre-hunting franchise that helped to make household names of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, Paul Feig’s 2016 take on ghostbusting already picked up controversy for merely existing – and further online feathers were ruffled when many who criticized the movie were faced with accusations of sexism, as the movie featured entirely female protagonists as opposed to males in the original movies and animated series. It’s a movie that went on to collect the most dislikes for a movie trailer in YouTube history, with almost 850,000 people recording their disdain – and while the actual movie fared middlingly with critics (One News Page however rated it lowly with 1.5 stars out of 5), it’s been reported that the film may have faced total losses of around $70,000,000.
These are fairly big losses even taking into account international box office revenue – and it certainly quashed any furtive rumors surrounding a sequel emerging anytime soon – but Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two Ghostbusters movies and returned to produce the reboot, has been keen to advise that ‘many more’ movie outings for the franchise are in the offing – they are merely ‘in development’.
Ahead of the reboot this summer, discussion surrounding the future of the franchise extended to talk of a new animated series and an animated movie – and original plans to produce an alternative Ghostbusters movie, Ghost Corps – which may have starred Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt – appear to have fallen by the wayside. But it certainly doesn’t seem to be the end for the franchise – the reboot, while generally well-received by critics, was thought to have been mediocre given the intense hype and dislike that approached it ahead of release.
It’s been put out before that there may be a Ghostbusters cinematic universe in the works – but given the recent performance of the reboot, such plans may need to be reworked. Will DVD and Blu Ray sales vindicate the movie – or will it be destined to be remembered more for the furore surrounding its release as opposed to its overall quality? As history dictates, the fans will always decide – and in one form or another, the Ghostbusters name will always bounce back despite a turbulent history of returning to form!