Overcoming the pre-release online negativity, Sony’s “Ghostbusters” reboot opened to in second place to a very solid $46 million opening over the weekend.
It’s an opening best for both director Paul Feig and actress Melissa McCarthy, the highest opening for a live-action comedy in more than a year, and right in line with early estimates. Yet is it enough?
The problem here, unlike most comedies, is cost. The film was made on a costly production budget of $144 million, plus had at least $100 million more in marketing costs.
Without the benefit of the now all important Chinese market where the film is unlikely to open, it will have to do both solid repeat business and score very well in overseas markets in order to justify a sequel. Estimates are it will have to do at least $300 million globally to break even and far more than that to justify a sequel.
Sony Pictures is determined to make it a franchise though as Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at the studio, tells The Wrap: “I expect ‘Ghostbusters’ to become an important brand and franchise, while nothing has been officially announced yet, there’s no doubt in my mind it will happen.”
Yet Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations, tells Variety it’s still too early to call: “The story isn’t told on this film. It’s too soon to say they’ve relaunched this franchise.”
While critical reviews are quite good, reactions to the film have been polarised. The movie also faces stiff competition from the likes of “Jason Bourne,” “Star Trek Beyond” and “Suicide Squad” in coming weeks.