by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s one of the year’s most polarizing movies, and for good reason – Paul Feig’s directorial take on a reboot of the hugely popular Ghostbusters franchise has seen criticism and debate online rise to an almost unheard of level, with the trailer for the movie receiving unprecedented ‘dislikes’ on YouTube – and while the frenzy over the movie has since died down (largely intercepted and replaced by mania surrounding the recent release of Suicide Squad), it remains to be seen whether or not the decision to remake the iconic sci-fi comedy for a new audience has been entirely worthwhile.
Critics remained largely divided over the picture, with Rotten Tomatoes offering a ‘certified fresh’ rating of 74% - however, many felt that the movie failed to capture the comic timing and genius of the original franchise. One News Page rated the film as poor, advising that it is a poorly-timed comedy wrapped in nice visuals and in the skin of the Ghostbusters franchise – and many fans of the franchise actively avoided the movie, which may well have led to emerging signs that it underperformed at the box office.
Various sources are claiming that that the movie will fail to break even after worldwide takings are considered, meaning that the opportunity for a sequel could well be less likely than studio executives had previously assumed. The news comes after the movie begins to leave theaters on a whole, while some territories are yet to host it – France, for example, is only just debuting the picture in the coming days – but in stark comparison with enthusiasm over the appearance of a sequel before the movie was even released, it certainly seems that Ghostbusters may have failed to win over movie-goers in the way it had originally intended.
Ghostbusters 2016 is centered around a new band of spectre-scouters led by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, with Chris Hemsworth acting as receptionist. With cameos from original Ghostbusters alumni Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver, the movie was launched as an attempt to revive interest in the brand and the universe – and while it may well have succeeded at that, it appears that it hasn’t worked so well on the level of a movie in its own right. While it has exceeded much expectation to make considerable money at the box office, there is concern over whether or not it is enough.