‘Ghostbusters’ May Have a Scary-Good Weekend at the Box Office

'Pets' to Top 'Ghostbusters' with $50
Courtesy of Sony

Sony’s all-female “Ghostbusters” will attempt to scare off the haters at the U.S. box office but faces a formidable foe for the no. 1 spot– the second session of “The Secret Life of Pets,” which will probably take in around $55 million.

That should be enough for “Pets” to top the opening of the much-debated “Ghostbusters,” modestly pegged by the studio to finish in the $38 million to $40 million range at 3,950 locations on Friday. But box office trackers believe the action-comedy reboot will take in more like $45 million to $50 million.

“Ghostbusters” is coming into the market following a rocky reception earlier in the year from fans of the 1984 original with griping emerging about women — Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones —  filling the roles originated by Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson.


Film Review: ‘Ghostbusters’

The studio opted to delay press screenings of the movie, directed by Paul Feig, until July 9 but has since seen mostly positive reviews with a current 77% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical support might lift grosses closer to $50 million but even at $40 million, “Ghostbusters” would be the biggest live-action comedy opening since “Pitch Perfect 2” opened in May, 2015, with a stunning $69 million.

On the plus side, the Feig-McCarthy collaboration has produced three hits in a row with “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat” and “Spy” — all which showed strong holding power following their opening weekends. With a $144 million price tag, “Ghostbusters” will need a need a similar performance to be profitable — and generate significant grosses overseas.

The 1984 original was a smash Stateside with $229 million in its first release after a $13.6 million opening and a $15.1 million second weekend. Foreign grosses totaled $53 million.

“Ghostbusters” opens internationally in the English language territories of the UK and Australia as well as Brazil and a handful of other smaller markets. The rest of western Europe, Japan, Mexico and Latin America are launching in the upcoming weeks.

The only other domestic opener is Broad Green’s drug drama “The Infiltrator,”  starring Bryan Cranston as a federal agent battling Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel and opening at about 1,600 locations. Expectations have been moderate with about $6 million expected over the first five days.

John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, Yul Vazquez and Amy Ryan also star in “The Infiltrator.”

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, said “Pets” has proven already to be a tonic for what had been a disappointing summer.

“‘The Secret Life of Pets’ has certainly set the summer box office on a stronger path with renewed vigor and much momentum generated by its bigger than expected $104 million debut,” he said. “Further, with its short running time and continued strong word of mouth, it remains the film to beat this weekend. The reboot of Ghostbusters is generating a massive social media conversation and boasts huge awareness yet it will have its challenges to live up to the much beloved 1984 original and give ‘Pets’ a run for its money.”

As of Sunday, the year-to-date total is 3% above the same point last year at $6.12 billion while the summer to date is off 1.1% to $2.51 billion.

Dergarabedian said there’s still time for the summer box office to recover: “An onslaught of late summer product including ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Star Trek Beyond,’ ‘Ice Age,’ ‘Jason Bourne,’ ‘Suicide Squad’ and ‘War Dogs’ among others could spark a healthy back end dose of revenue for what has been a very unpredictable and volatile summer box office season.”


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  1. Vera says:

    They KILL the ghosts. They don’t capture them, they just BLAST THEM APART.

  2. I love how almost ALL stories about the GHOSTBUSTERS reboot have to make it about the “haters” being outraged about the female-led cast.Guess that’s how the studio safeguards itself in case the movie bombs. Here’s the deal – HUNGER GAMES, BRIDESMAIDS and others had female leads. Huge hits. Was the latest DIVERGENT flick a flop because of the women? Nope. It was a flop because it sucked. This is the same marketing angle used for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD last year: if you don’t like it, you’re a misogynistic prick. I know every theatrical preview I’ve seen elicited little to no laughs or apparent interest.

  3. Jay says:

    Jesus Christ no one cares about the women!!!!

    They care that the movie looks like crap. Why do you keep pushing this Sony manufactured lie?!

    Star Wars has a female lead. And Rogue 1 has a female lead. Those are tracking to be great.

    Did you forget already?

  4. Bill Shields says:

    “Ghostbusters” is coming into the market following a rocky reception earlier in the year from fans of the 1984 original with griping emerging about women




    Stop this strawman argument that the criticism is about an all female cast. Audiences are ready and willing to watch a well made action movie with a female lead: The Hunger Games, Star Wars: The Force Awakens demonstrate this. This shows that the author has not read Any of the pre and post release critics, and simply repeating an easy “get out clause” excuse from Sony, who desperately Need this movie to succeed.

    We are critical of how this movie has been treated from day One. Gone is the original concept for a GBusters 3, which was a passing of the torch from the old guard to a new, younger and mixed gender generation. The treatment of Ivan Reitman and the original cast is deplorable, with bribes, threats and strong arming to wrest the franchise out of their creative control.

    Instead of an original movie, we get basically another Melisa McCarthy vehicle, about as exciting as another Adam Sandler film (never forget, Grown Ups 2 – an All Male Cast, and utter shite – made $250m).

    Instead of an exciting,witty comedy horror movie that defines an era, we get a bland, vanilla 2hour SNL improv sketch show, by a director who is out of his depth with FX and action. And if this cast is meant to represent “the funniest actors on screen today” then Zuul help us all (I will never understand the appeal of McCarthy – she is just Not funny).

    The movie opened her in the UK on Monday, and at peak hours in the middle of a school holiday season the theatre i went to was barely half filled. The movie was okay. It wasn’t as bad as had been feared, but the problem is it’s simply not that great either. It’s “meh”. The opening was fun, but the move drags after that, with comedy sketches that are barely above chuckle level, and even devolving into fanny fart jokes and prat falls. The climax is a lesson in how Not to do green screen, and shows Feig’s limits as a director. He’s good at small, low budget sit-coms, but he’s simply not cut out to play in the big league blockbusters.

    The big problem for Sony is this is meant to be the Flagship of a massive franchise to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with sequels, spin offs and a “Big Avengers movie event”. So it’s not enough for it to simply “be good”. It has to knock everyone’s socks off. It has to be the movie you drag your family and friends to see after your first viewing (like the original). It has to blow the lid off the box office and set records. And it simply isn’t that good enough. As my friend said on the way out of the theatre “It’s not as bad as Fantastic four, but it’s not as good as Batman v Superman” – and he meant that with the edge of satire.

    Sony knew in production this movie was going to struggle. Rumours of a troubled shoot dogged its production, and seem confirmed. Feig’s “big Dance number” (a major pitch of his original concept) was reportedly so disastrous he broke down in tears on set, and the finished product was so bad it was excised from the film and only makes a brief cameo in the credits. There was antagonism between cast (particularly McCarthy and Jones) for the best lines,and this is evident on screen as, far from having “amazing chemistry” as some pro critics have claimed, it’s barely present on screen.Their pre-release was abysmal. The Trailers, aside from being the most disliked in Youtube history, actually reveal the Entire Plot of the Movie, from the Library opening to the (literal) ball blasting boss take down. If you’ve watched all the trailers and TV spots, you have seen the whole movie, and the best jokes. They didn’t make it any better by insulting and alienating the very fans of the original they were relying on to flood cinema seats with nostalgia.

    Hoping for $40-50m opening is seriously lowering the target for what Sony wanted to start a massive franchise, and reeks of damage control. Even the most favourable reviews say the movie is “not as bad as the haters said”, which is hardly a ringing endorsement. It’s kind of like saying Pixels wasn’t’ as bad as Jack & Jill (sorry to use a Sandler analogy again, but I can’t help but compare the two together. From the get go, Ghostbusters 2016 reminds me of Pixels). But the consensus is – it’s just good.

    Fair to middling is not good for what this movie hoped. The Sony Studios flagship looks to launch and stay dead in the water.

    Not One of the points above has ANYthing to do an all female cast.

  5. Sloan says:

    Dave McNary is an idiot. Ghostbusters is going to beat The Secret Life of Pets at the box office. Ghostbusters will top the box office at No. 1.

    • mjlambert1 says:

      We haven’t heard a single word about the UK box office with the movie out for four days. Only indication is videos of empty theaters for GB remake screenings.

    • Jay says:

      You should have wrote this article.

      All this fiasco is showing me is who to ignore due to their lack of basic investigating skills.

  6. homosezwut says:

    Feig needed McCarthy & Wiig to get funding & McKinnon is great, but who in the heck are deciding to jam Leslie Jones down our throat? It feels like the same people who keep trying to jam Andy Samberg & Josh Gad down our throat too. I would love to have seen Maya Rudolph here for that role because I have no dislike for Leslie Jones, I just don’t find her funny at all & unfortunately Melissa McCarthy has already started to feel less & less funny with each new movie & Maya Rudolph is so talented, I wish some would give Rudolph that damn push they are giving some of these other comic talents. #wut

    • Jay says:

      I would love to see mya Rudolph as a ghostbuster.

      But the media shills would have me believe I am sexist.

      • quacks says:

        I think caitlyn jenner would be better for the gig. He won the woman of the year award so why not ghostbusters too.

  7. InspectorClouseu says:

    Hey Sony’s celebrating Thanksgiving in July with this turkey.

    • Calculon says:

      Except Ghostbusters will be a success, stupid.

      • mjlambert1 says:

        Not without the China box office. Also, where’s the UK box office numbers? If it was doing well this past week, we wouldn’t hear the end of it from Sony. All I see is videos of empty theaters during Ghostbusters screenings.

  8. Walter says:

    Switching genders is simply a clever ploy for SONY to justify a remake, because Ramis is deceased and Murray didn’t want to do it. It opens a whole new door of financial fleecing of the public for studios if they just switch genders. And they can call all critics misogynist even if it sucks.

    • quacks says:

      They do make a killing off womens products. I know being in sales i have ti sell the woman and emotions make selling easier and women are more emotional.

  9. Hope Springs says:

    Jason Reitman’s “Thank you for smoking” had the “tasteful replacement of cigarettes in classic film” with candy canes, coffee mugs etc. Now we have “tasteful reboots of classic film with Political Correctness”.’ Sad times in Film History.

  10. I don’t think most people hate the movie because it’s women but because it looks really bad. The comedy does not look funny at all and the movie seems like a spoof or a parody of the original. I don’t like Melissa McCarthy and don’t find her comedy funny at all. If it was a director who didn’t make ridiculous comedy all of the time and had another director who could add funny moments but keep the movie from doing too much cheesy, trying too hard to be funny stuff, I’d watch the movie with an all female cast. If it wasn’t all SNL members and they got real actresses, I would watch that too. And if this ever shows up on SNL, sure I’ll watch it, but no way am I going to the theater to watch it lol.

  11. Guney Topal says:

    Rotten Tomato is never accurate, IMDb gave it a rating of 3.8/10. The movie is lame, lazy, juvenile, childish and so bad that I had to face palm 100000 times. Don’t watch.

    • Darren p. says:

      You realise IMDb rating has been targeted to deliberately lower the score?

      There’s hundreds of 1/10 ratings by enraged ‘fans’ of the original.
      The metacritic score will most likely be the only reasonable reflection of the film.

      • Suikodudeman says:

        Metacritic, however, has it sitting at a 59 rating… to put things into perspective, 84 Ghostbusters sits a 67 on metacritic and GB2 sits at 55.

  12. Shannon Nutt says:

    Already, the spin begins. $50 million would be a huge disappointment for the studio, who needs to make about $400 million worldwide just to turn a profit.

    • Yea but what about Legend of Tarzan. That movie has a $180M budget and it’s barely getting to $200m WorldWide. No one is really talking about how big of a flop it is.

      • homosezwut says:

        Word. – Could’ve been an epic CGI style Planet of the Apes companion piece or a dynamic Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the jungle. Bye, bye franchise for another decade or two :( #wut

  13. IT--II--IT says:

    INTEL RUN franchise slum Hollywood —stepped past— ANY serious remembrance
    of the JUNE 25th anniversary of the awesomely relevant KOREAN WAR ?
    to bring us decades stale rehash slop ?- – –like this ????

  14. Ben says:

    Rotten Tomato composites a whole lot of arm chair critics in that 77%.
    If you change to top critics it drops to 48%, substantially less positive.

  15. This is gonna flop , its lazy as hell, there is not chemistry between the girls for it to be funny, the story is just lazy written, i believe these 77% have been pay off reviews for positive to get people to watch the film, when the all the bad reviews are justified its a poorly made film.

  16. eh says:

    I’ve been reading bad viewer reviews as well. Let’s let this movie flop on its lack of merit and not get into a whole sex war. The race war is pretty scary

  17. lee says:

    You know, the ghostbuster brand is more relevant worldwide than you think.The dubbed cartoon was a regular part of my childhood in Asia. The marshmallow man scene is probably the most iconic movie moments in the history if cinema.

    That’s why there’s so much discontent over this reboot. Because anyway you look at it, it’s a GIMMICK. It’ll be like having an all female reboot of the Silver hawks or the Bionic Six. Or an all male reboot of Jem and the Holograms. It was bound to confuse the heck out of nostalgic fans who would expect a modern update or progression on characters they identified with.

    Most fans wouldn’t be offended by an Anime ghostbuster where all the characters would be Japanese. Because that’s a true relaunch or a new take on the brand. This looks like a copy and paste of the the existing formula with a gender swap. All because…. someone wanted to make a statement, I suppose.

  18. joe says:

    Nobody has actually given it a positive review
    Any review that is positive is just social justice warrior posturing and was written before they saw the film

    • Jay says:

      True. The reviews are about misogynist this and troll that. This is 2016: there’s no affirmative action for movies. What will it take to grant audiences the right to choose? And Sony is no saint either (email hack, Angelina Jolie).

    • Jim says:

      Well said. Its a dumbed down retread of a classic, much loved film. Nobody would be defending it if they couldnt play the misogyny card. Just as nobody was defending the Robocop, Point Break or Total Recall remakes.

    • lee says:

      “one of the most iconic movie moments”

    • Jamie says:

      LOL. Ghostbro….you are beyond pathetic.

  19. Dave On Movies says:

    No thanks have no interest in seeing it (or let me re-phrase that PAY money to see it) I’ll wait to stream it for free. Trailers were AWFUL. It may currently hold 78% on Rotten Tomatoes (which I don’t believe) since it’s average rating is only at 6.5 (definitely a better indicator). I will save my $ for Trek next weekend.

  20. Steve Bennet says:

    Those numbers are a flop for this m ovie.

  21. Rudy Mario says:

    This is foolish.

    You want to grow the worldwide market for your movies? Fine. Bigger market means bigger $$. Which is superfine. (We are not commies).

    Then you need to develop new themes, new characters new appealing story lines with females and other racial groups.

    Instead the suits at the studios are changing straight to gay, white to black or something else, male characters to females or Trans or whatever.


    Hope some idiot in a suit at some studio is not planning an all white male version of “Steel Magnolias” (my grandma’s favourite).

    Any takers?

  22. Lesaa says:

    I doubt this movie will make a lot of money. I think for opening it’ll be 40 million for opening weekend and not gaining that much more money later on. And China can’t even save it either.
    Just because it gets a bunch of media attention and controversy honestly means nothing since Jem and the Holograms gained a lot of attention yet still bombed at the box office.
    Oh and I doubt that RT score will be high when it releases in the U.S and more reviews are realeased.

    • mjlambert1 says:

      And it will follow the common trend this summer of abysmal second weekend box office. It has the first weekend, if that, then sink like everything else.

  23. Brock says:

    “Pets” earns my money this weekend.
    I’ll eventually see “Ghost Booty” for free.

  24. IDGAF says:

    No one cares that the main cast are female… or that every single male in the cast is a moron or asshole… or that they shoot the final bosses dick. What people care about? The fact that this movie, flat out, is not funny. For a comedy it is a complete flop. The jokes are forced, the humor is as flat as the fatty that hits the floor when trying to blame race or gender… The entire movie is a feminist viewpoint on the world and only them or an SJW is going to give it any decent grade aside from the shills. The common public is going to see it as the trash we’ve been seeing for years on colleges coming out of gender studies departments. Progressive? Sure… Marketable? No.

    • EricJ says:

      OGL – Do they actually have a “Never be the second person to crowd dive” joke in the movie? You’re kidding, right?

      • quacks says:

        The lady stage dives and isn’t caught and says “i don’t know if its race or sex why i wasnt caught, but im pissed off about it.” This is in the same preview where it says the movie gets an “upgrade” yet the next thing on the screen is a ghost with boobs and a “bigger” joke. The brain processes this a certain way whether they admit it or not.

  25. asianeatables says:

    It will be number one. Probably closer to 60. pets is not disney and it won’t hold up.

  26. VINNY says:

    This garbage ain’t getting my money.

  27. Leon says:

    If you postpone press coverage and send more spin our way about how its going to be huge just means you knownits a complete and a massive failure. I will not be giving my money to this trash.

  28. Bill says:

    It’s amazing – despite the negative review by their own reviewer, Variety is pushing the agenda that if the film doesn’t do well it will because of the “haters” and not because the released trailers all made the film look truly, truly bad.

    • Malcolm says:

      Right – the film may (or may not) be good, enjoyable, funny, scary, etc. It may live up to it’s earlier incarnation or it may not. It may have been a bad idea to switch genders, or that may have been a brilliant idea.

      But the TRAILER was terrible. Not funny. Not scary. And, hopefully, not indicative of the finished product. But IT – not the cast, not the pedigree, and not the kneejerk sexist comments made from the initial announcement – harmed this film more than anything else. (Some of) the hate had a definite, understandable cause: the trailer.

  29. Dunstan says:

    The internet troll obsession about this alleged violation of the original “sacred” “Ghostbusters” is laughable.

    They haven’t seen the film and don’t know what they’re talking about. The movie will be a success or it won’t.

    I saw the original and it was fun but I barely remember it and I was an adult then.

    • Marko says:

      It hasn’t held up well over the years, imho. I’m interested to see a fresh take on the franchise.

      • EricJ says:

        “But box office trackers believe the action-comedy reboot will take in more like $45 million to $50 million.”


  30. SumptiousDumpty says:

    i remember seeing this figure before the positive reviews were introduced into the mix. i’ve been hearing from a lot of on-the-fence-ers who were swayed by them, so i think it may open a tad bigger.

  31. Nanny Mo says:

    When I found out that Sony agreed to use “aggressive measures” to force Bill Murray to support the film. I was mad. That’s not cool. I’m not going to see this film.

    • Porkscrew says:

      All that was under discussion by those lawyers in the 2013 Sony emails was how to get Murray to respond with a yes or no to the “Ghostbusters: Alive Again” project or have him waive his need to sign off on it. His go ahead was required to make the film due to a clause in his contract and he had declined to engage with the studio up to that point. It had nothing to do with this reboot, there was never a way to sue him into supporting either, and they didn’t pursue the matter further. Good luck boycotting every film with an uncool studio legal team, cuz that’s basically all of them.

    • Kasper Gordon says:

      That is not correct. They specifically used the words “more aggressive measures” in their talks to get Murray to agree in some of the leaked mails. Look it up for yourself.
      This, along with the facts, like starting with the project as soon as Harold Ramis died, pushing Ivan Reitmanmout of his own creation, wanting to reboot not just a classic, but an iconic movie for a soulless cashgrab (as seen with other of their held franchisees) , censurering genuine disappointed well thought critique and feedback from fans, and only leaving sexist comments and making everybody concerned with the film looking like sexist angry nerds , plus rumors of fabricated and paid reviews – along with other facts, makes me never want to support a movie like this, even if it turns out to actually be okay. And furthermore hope, that Sony will go bankrupt, so their fascists way off doing business and treating entertainment and art, forever can be put in the grave.

      • Porkscrew says:

        Everything I said is correct. I’m not disputing anything the emails say, just giving them the context you’re ignorant of. Your claim that Ivan Reitman was pushed out is false. He was offered the directing job, passed on it, and is instead producing. “Fans” don’t need any help from Sony to look like hysterical nerds throwing tantrums, as you’ve just demonstrated. Dismissed.

      • nobody important says:

        I have a feeling you meant to respond to another comment.

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