Are you one of the many, many Ghostbusters fans that is hoping that Paul Feig’s upcoming entry into the franchise will be his last? After the initial trailer was released, a trailer that was disliked more than any other trailer in YouTube history, fans of the franchise went into an uproar, slamming the film, the director, and the female cast attached to the project. In a world in which these armchair critics reign king, this massive shade thrown on the film seems to have had exactly the desired effect. The new North American tracking figures recently reported by THR seem to back up the almost universal opinion that the Ghostbusters franchise may wind up back in the containment unit after this outing.
According to the numbers, Ghostbusters is on track to make a predictable $40-$50mil debut for its opening weekend. For an film with a $1mil budget, that would be stupendous news! For a film that carries a $154mil price tag, however, which is the rumored budget for the reboot, those numbers spell disaster.
Feig has gone on record in the past (though, perhaps it was taken out of context), slamming geek culturists for their automatic vitriol the moment an all-female cast was announced. One of Feig’s regular collaborators and Ghostbusters star Melissa McCarthy has also made similar comments in the past, though she did agree that the initial trailer released was a bit confusing, if not downright misleading. Fans of the franchise, of course, cried foul at the accusation that the addition of a few Y-chromosomes was the source of their anger, and pointed at the not-so-great trailer to back up their hatred. Really, it isn’t a terrible defense, considering the very Scooby-Doo-like special effects and some of the sillier lines in the promotion (“That stuff went everywhere, by the way. In every crack.”, for instance). For reference, here is the trailer in question:
Alright, fair point, haters. In response, Sony released a 2nd trailer, a better trailer, to calm down some of the bad press that has plagued the film since its inception. The trailer was a bit more accurate in explaining the story and offered more than a few laugh worthy moments. Again, for reference….
Still, the haters kept hating. Sony movie chief, Tom Rothman, seems completely ok with the controversy, calling it “the greatest thing that ever happened”, and closing with
“Are you kidding me? We’re in the national debate, thank you. Can we please get some more haters to say stupid things?”
While this was absolutely the right way to handle a horrid audience back in 1994 when that sort of apathy was mainstream, in a world where those that scream the loudest are the ones who are heard, not so much. Really, though, at this point, can a box office disaster be averted? Probably not. So, why not let those fightin’ words fly?
The bottom line is that the film was doomed from the start, which is a damn shame. While plenty of those haters out there will adamantly deny that sexism plays even the smallest part in their decision to hate the film, that’s a bit of a hard pill to swallow. Paul Feig is a talented director who has a proven track record when it comes to female led comedies. While he had plenty of television and even a dramatic film to his credit prior to 2011’s Bridesmaids, that film managed to launch the director into the box office comedy mainstream and two of the new Ghostbusters, McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, managed to absolutely kill with the characters they portrayed. The other two new Ghostbusters, Leslie Jones and Kate KcKinnon are SNL regulars that also kill pretty much any time they are on screen. In other words, the entire film is absolutely loaded with comedic talent, both behind the camera and in front. Sight unseen, the movie had a hell of a lot of promise. Was it going to be a continuation of the original? Of course not. Can it match the nostalgia of the original 1984 film? Of course not. However, considering the names attached, true fans should have been absolutely excited for this film,
even especially with these women strapping on those costumes. Yet…
Will the movie be amazing? That is yet to be seen. Should you give it a shot anyway? That’s up to you. If THR’s numbers are right, though, chances are that most people that aren’t excited about the prospect of a hilarious film starring some hilarious women will wind up catching this one when it eventually hits the Redbox, and seeing where a sequel would have taken audiences may never happen.
Are you planning on seeing the film? If not, what is your reasoning?