While some critics were quick to dismiss Ghostbusters: Afterlife as a blatant display of fan-service that relied too much on nostalgia, and initial projections for the movie’s opening weekend were rather mediocre, Jason Reitman and his combined team of new and old characters have had the last laugh with audiences flocking to cinemas to see the original Ghostbusting team back on the big screen for the first time in over thirty years, and the movie hit a new milestone this weekend after breaking the $100 million mark at the box office.
From its origins in the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, which introduced the world of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore to cinema audiences around the world and gave us what still stands as one of the most unexpected, outrageous and pure genius final baddies in the form of Mr. Stay Puft, the Ghostbusters franchise has worked its way through a sequel, numerous animated cartoon series, toys, video games and more, although with best not mentioned 2016 reboot, until final we have been given the second sequel that fans have wanted to see for many years.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife, primarily takes its story leads from the original movie, and weaves them into a new narrative that centers on the family of Egon Spengler, who following the founding Ghostbusters’ member’s death begin to discover what the scientist was up to in the last years of his life. Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace play the grandchildren of Egon, who over the course of the movie discover their grandfather’s legacy and how he has been preventing the end of the world in a small town on his own for a number of years, while cutting himself off from his friends and family.
The film has just passed its third weekend in theaters and has achieved what many other movies haven’t in the post-pandemic world and blasted past the $100 million mark to prove that sometimes we do all need one of those fan-service movies that give people exactly what they want along with a big boost of nostalgia to boot. With its worldwide takings hanging just under $150 million, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is just one of 12 movies in the last 18 months to have taken more than $100 million at the domestic box office – which can be directly compared to 2019’s figures when 29 movies breached the milestone in that year.
While there are still some of the movie’s critics who are quick to point out that Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the lowest earner of the three previous Ghostbusters films, including 1984’s Ghostbusters which took just short of $300 million in total, Ghostbusters 2 with $215 million and 2016’s reboot which ended its run on $229 million, but those figures only tell part of the story. When it comes the original movies, $300 million was a lot for a movie to make in the 1980s, with Ghostbusters being the 13th highest grossing movie of the decade. Ghostbusters: Afterlife has arrived at a time when the box offices are still very much in recovery mode, and having only had a budget of around half that of the 2016 reboot, the film is already more profitable for Sony and had it been release a couple of years earlier, there is a good chance it would have pushed considerably higher in terms of box office numbers.
With big movies such as Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake, Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix Resurrections coming to theaters, Ghostbusters: Afterlife will likely have to move over to make room for these juggernauts to come through, but there is still the home media release market to come, so the film’s earning potential is still a long way from dead.
Ghostbusters star Ernie Hudson has revealed that a script is already being written for a sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
About The Author