Will Ghostbusters flop?

It's a franchise where only the first movie is universally liked

Entertainment Weekly

Exclusive: Watch the haunting teaser for Jason Reitman's secret 'Ghostbusters' movie

Last night, we learned Up in the Air and Juno filmmaker Jason Reitman has been quietly working on a secret Ghostbusters movie.

This morning, EW can reveal there’s already a video teaser for the 2020 project.

Shhhh … it may not be hush-hush anymore, but you’re going to want to put on some earphones and listen closely.

It begins on a quiet night outside a weather-worn barn. Someone is tinkering on a machine that stubbornly refuses to start.

As the point of view draws closer, we hear the late Elmer Bernstein’s eerie score from the library scene of the 1984 original. A strand of of ectoplasm dangles from a nearby fence, the tell-tale sign that something supernatural is also lurking nearby.

Whoever is working on the device finally powers it up, and the off-camera glow of what looks like a burst from a broken proton pack floods the barn and lifts the tarp covering another familiar machine — the rusting back end of the original Ecto-1.

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Will the new Ghostbusters film fly or flop at the box office?

By Joe Harker

Everyone knows Ghostbusters, at the very least they recognise the title song and the logo, but the last (and only) great film to bear the name was the first one released back in 1984. An animated series and a disappointing sequel followed in the same decade but plans for a third film were shelved when Bill Murray declined to take part. The death of Harold Ramis in 2014 appeared to conclusively end any plans for another Ghostbusters film.

In 2016 the franchise was rebooted with a new cast but certain fans took against all four Ghostbusters being played by women and the film itself received mixed reviews. The high production budget and marketing costs meant Sony, the production company behind the film, estimated they would need to make $300 million a the box office just to break even. They ended up taking a $70 million loss on the film, which once again appeared to put an end to plans for another film. Until now.

A trailer for a direct sequel to the pair of Ghostbusters movies with the original cast has been released, with the film scheduled for a summer 2020 release. It will be directed by Jason Reitman, son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan, whose previous films include Juno and Up In The Air.

Dani Di Placido of Forbes suggests that Sony is trying to cash in on the nostalgia fans have for the original film, criticising the 2016 reboot for moving too far away from the source material and not being good enough to justify being so different. The trailer showing the old car, the previous director's son taking over and being a direct sequel to the original movies presses all the right nostalgia buttons.

Nostaliga can be a powerful force at the box office, though it is a dangerous thing to play with. Mishandle the property people get all misty eyed over, or just have the temerity to change it too much for the liking of some, and an angry backlash can quickly develop, just as it did for the 2016 film.

Angry people professing to be Ghostbusters fans attacked the film for having all four leads played by women. Long before the film was released it was receiving abuse from unkind sectors of the internet. The abuse directed at the film and the people involved with making it certainly hurt it at the box office.

Not everyone thinks a new Ghostbusters film is a good idea. Scott Mendelson of Forbes argues that the new film discarding the reboot and going back to the originals represents a win for those who hurled abuse. He points out that Jason Reitman's last few movies haven't been very successful, though concedes many recently successful films are continuations of franchises that were popular decades ago.

There's also no guarantee that the hordes of internet trolls won't find something new to get worked up over. The conversation about the 2016 reboot turned toxic very quickly and the Ghostbusters franchise has been tainted by the abuse hurled at women who took an acting job on a big budget film.

There are some who don't get the hype around Ghostbusters in the first place. Michael Hogan of the Daily Telegraph asked when we can all stop pretending the original film is a comedic masterpiece. He cites reviews of the film when it came out that call it "only intermittently impressive" and say "its jokes, characters and storyline are as wispy as the ghosts themselves".

Despite some middling reviews when it was released a lot of people went to see it and it quickly became a classic. It was the start (and high point) of something big for a lot of people. There's money in the nostalgia but plenty of trolls will think they've achieved victory via their abuse and boycotts. As for the financial forecasts, Sony will want to avoid needing a target of $300 million to break even.

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Hollywood Reporter

The Challenges Facing 'Ghostbusters 3'

Next year, there's going to be something strange in the neighborhood again. Sony has brought filmmaker Jason Reitman on board to relaunch again, just three years after Paul Feig's franchise reboot. This next installment won't follow the continuity of Feig's movie, however, nor will be another ground-up reboot. Instead, it'll be a sequel to 1989's Ghostbusters II, because. . . that's a thing that needed to happen, apparently. . . ?

To be fair to Sony executives, the idea of going back to the original movies is one that makes a certain amount of sense, particularly following the failure of the 2016 reboot, which was estimated to have lost around $70 million for the studio; given what could be seen as a rejection of the idea of starting afresh, bringing back some of the original cast and trading explicitly on the nostalgia for the original movies is the most obvious approach for keeping the property alive moving forward - especially in light of Star Wars having successfully relaunched doing exactly that very thing.

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