Despite chatter surrounding a potential sequel, and the clear opening provided at the end of the film, we will not have to endure another round of you-better-like-this-film-or-you’re-a-sexist type of press due to the costly film’s dismal performance at the box office. With Sony looking at an estimated $70 million in the hole, they will focus on crafting Ghostbusters animated spinoffs instead.
Although film creator Paul Feig had high-hopes for the film, and the cast included some heavy star power, like Bridesmaids stars Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, the overwhelming under-performance is apparently leaving Sony execs with no choice other than to nix a sequel.
As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, the film is underwater financially, desperately hoping to break-even as a best case scenario: “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 is downplaying the box-office bombing, of course.
“We’re very proud of the bold movie Paul Feig made, which critics and audiences loved,” said one Sony rep. “It has enlivened a 30-year-old brand and put it into the modern zeitgeist. As a result, we have many ideas in the works to further exploit the Ghostbusters universe.”
The same rep suggested that the estimated $70 million loss was baseless: “This loss calculation is way off,” said the rep. “With multiple revenue streams, including consumer products, gaming, location-based entertainment, continued international rollout, and huge third-party promotional partnerships that mitigated costs, the bottom line, even before co-financing, is not remotely close to that number.”
Making matters stickier for Sony, McCarthy, Wiig and co-stars Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are apparently signed up for two potential Ghostbusters sequels. But again, this is more than unlikely. “Ghostbusters is on ice until further notice,” said Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst. “I just can’t fathom the creative talents behind it — Feig, McCarthy, Wiig, etc. — slogging out another one when the reception to the first one was so mediocre.”
Maybe this will be a lesson to the social justice left presiding in Hollywood who place agenda before their bottom-line, but don’t hold your breath. Instead, prepare for another studio to pick up Ghostbusters: The Transgender Reboot.