Despite an onslaught of online hatred and bile from supposed ‘fans’ of the classic Ghostbusters movies, the 2016 female-led reboot of Ghostbusters has done fairly well for itself in domestic territories. While it came second to Universal’s and Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets in its opening weekend, Ghostbusters still made a very respectable $46 million in its first weekend, making it the highest-grossing live-action comedy since 2012’s Pitch Perfect, and was generally received well by most critics and pundits, with general moviegoing audiences also leading to it scoring a solid, “B+” CinemaScore. The movie is also ‘Certified Fresh’ on popular aggregate review site, Rotten Tomatoes, with a strong 73% critical approval rating. While Ghostbusters has yet to open in most international territories outside of the U.S. and Canada, and will probably see a box office setback on account of being banned in the lucrative movie market of China, due to Chinese censors strongly disliking movies with paranormal and supernatural themes and subject matter (though Sony obviously expected that), Sony is already looking forward to what’s next.
Speaking on the matter, Sony’s President of Worldwide Distribution, Rory Bruer confirmed to official source, TheWrap that the company is still viewing Ghostbusters as an important brand and franchise, going forward (Sony Pictures even invented a ‘Ghost Corps’ franchise banner to oversee all future Ghostbusters projects in a potential shared universe), and said that, “There’s no doubt in my mind that [a sequel] will happen.” Bruer did say that this shouldn’t be taken as an official announcement, but he didn’t see any possibility that Sony would scuttle their grand plans for Ghostbusters in the future, and given his high station at the company, it’s very unlikely that Bruer is mistaken when it comes to Sony’s outlook on Ghostbusters’ future. This news also comes on the heels of producer and former series director, Ivan Reitman telling the Globe and Mail that the purported male-led Ghostbusters movie that was claimed to be being groomed as a sequel in case the female-led one flopped, allegedly starring Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt, to be helmed by Captain America directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, was, “Never real”, dismissing it as a mere online rumour.
Of course, since Bruer’s claim isn’t an official announcement, anything is possible, especially if Ghostbusters somehow tanks in international markets, though given its positive early press from critics and pundits in the Americas, and the emphasis on 3D and IMAX elements, which international audiences especially love, it’s very unlikely that Ghostbusters will flop in international regions. It’s also naive to think that Sony was somehow blind to the tastes of China, or the internet backlash (heck, they even took a jab at the internet hate in Ghostbusters’ final product), and wasn’t prepared that Ghostbusters may suffer on either end. The movie did contain a post-credits scene that foreshadowed a sequel, which director, Paul Feig confirmed could be taken as either just a gag, or a genuine hint of what’s to come, but for now, Ghostbusters 2, while not set in stone yet, remains a very likely prospect.
We were also on the side of critics and pundits when we reviewed Ghostbusters last week, awarding it a solid 79% overall score, and praising its lead actresses, stylish action and effects, and expansion of the franchise’s lore and gadgetry, even if we felt that the comedy was a bit hit-or-miss, as was some of the direction. We also felt in our review that the movie does lend itself well to the prospect of sequels and spin-offs, which were smartly set up, and never intrusive to the main storyline.
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