A project that has been roundly criticised basically since the point of conception, the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters seems doomed to fail before it has even begun. A full thirty years after the succcess of the original, the marketing team behind it are trying to present is as fresh take on the beloved story. It has a cast of popular actors at the forefront, but that hasn’t been enough to save it so far. Still months away from release, it popularity rating on IMDB is already gutter low.
The first trailer, released on March 3rd 2016, is being considered one of the most hated trailers of all time, with over 800,000 dislikes on YouTube.
It not only attracted derision from fans, but even the people involved in the movie. Melissa McCarthy herself famously described it as “very confusing”, as it connected itself far too strongly with the original when it is supposed to be an entirely new version of the same lore: “It’s that great story but told totally differently.
The second trailer was released just yesterday, but has already attracted almsto 70,000 dislikes on its YouTube page in the time since.
The comments section below includes opinions like “Black holes don’t suck this hard” and “Rebooting a classic with stale jokes, bad stereotypes, and laced with a social justice agenda is a recipe for disaster”, along with many others that conform perhaps too heavily with the idea that the critics are simple sexist.
After all the negativity, director Paul Feig has finally had a say.
“Everyone has a million different ideas of what this movie is going to be. I think a lot of people thought we were going to take the original script and just flip it,” he says.
“Nobody knows what you’re doing, so it could be anything. … My movies, for some reason, are really hard to do trailers for, because my comedy all comes from context, really. I’m not the guy who’s like joke-joke-joke, and here’s a one-liner one-liner one-liner. I do have those, but you have to get to know the characters, you have to settle in with them to get to know their personalities.”
He says he liked the first trailer, regardless of what people thought of it, and he seems happy to let people have their views too.
“All I can ask is, people, either give us a chance, or you don’t have to see it. I’m really proud of it. I think it’s fun. I’m so proud of my cast. I think the cast is so good, and they can stand in the footsteps of who came before, because they’re such funny people but they’re different. That’s all you really want out of a comedy at the end of the day, is something different and new, and to just see great people do it.”
For all the bad press it has attracted, it has to be argued that these trailers are not failing to draw in viewers. No matter how many dislikes or insults it generates, the studio still makes money as the hits add up. Maybe that’s enough.