Despite the Man Baby Crusade to derail the powerhouse that is Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones in the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, the film made $46 million dollars at US and Canadian box offices in its first weekend, making it the highest live-action comedy opening since Pitch Perfect 2 in 2015. It’s an opening weekend pull that nestled snugly in the middle of Sony’s $40 to 50 million dollar projections, and earned McCarthy as well as director Paul Feig their largest debut. Sony executives have been vocal about their support for the film and their excitement for its – by their own standards – success. Moviegoers that were primed to like it don’t just like it; they’re losing their minds over it on social media.
And yet Jeff Bock, box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, is VERY WORRIED about the Ghostbuster legacy. He spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about it in an article yesterday:
“I know Sony is crowing about it being a great opening for a comedy, but the entire Ghostbusters legacy is what’s at stake here, and it’s not looking good. This was supposed to be a blockbuster.”
THE ENTIRE GHOSTBUSTERS LEGACY IS AT STAKE HERE. You know, how it was when 1989’s Ghosterbusters II that (adjusted for inflation) had a similar opening of $56 million its first weekend. Also if we’re talking about legacies here, people were perfectly fine letting Val Kilmer play Batman only for it to have four more reincarnations after the fact, not to mention the FIVE Spiderman movies packed into just 12 years with back-to-back actors who had the combined charisma of a baguette, so the legacy’s fine. *Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron voice* The legacy does not exist.
He continues: “Curiosity played a big factor in the $46 million debut and, as such, I doubt it will hold like a typical Feig comedy.”
Curiosity! Not genuine excitement, as I’m assuming we’re not framing this through the perspective of the women who made up 56% of the audience this weekend. Sorry, but the only women that are curious about this movie are straight women after seeing Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann. No, I think the curiosity Bock is talking about is coming from the same condescending riser where men show up to see how the girls fare!
But people don’t pay $17 for a movie because they are curious, they pay 17 whole dollars because they want to see the movie. Those who don’t, blog about it. Or write racist tweets about it.
Then he says, “Sony definitively did not launch a franchise, and seemingly they might be the only ones that don’t know it. I know it’s been a tough road for them, and I feel for them.”
“I feel for them.” These poor executives in charge of these poor women. You know what Bock could do instead of prepping the burial site for Ghostbusters at every turn? I don’t know, give it more than a week? Remind himself of his own analysis of how critical opinion influences a film’s future, specifically films like this one? Earlier this year he told CNBC, “Critical opinion can have a significant impact on a film’s success if it targets a specific genre that is susceptible to reviews.” And, no, Bock isn’t technically a movie critic, but quotes like, “It isn’t looking good,” and, “I doubt it will hold,” about a film that has done exactly what it was expected to are critiques that are a part of the same conversation.
Bock keeps going: “The more I ponder it, the worse this scenario plays out.”
Okay, guy, relax. Sony, the people literally in charge of Ghostbusters’ legacy, already think it’s ripe for a sequel and again you’re already angling to kill it. But I guess that’s the point! If it’s a ghost then maybe a man can come by and suck it away into a box forever.