It seems no one will see the further adventures of Erin Gilbert, Abby Yates, Patty Tolan and Jillian Holtzmann. Despite mostly positive reviews, cultural buzz, and a million thinkpieces, Ghostbusters 2 is now canceled. The somewhat surprising news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, who claim Sony is focusing on an animated Ghostbusters after a tepid box office response.
Paul Feig’s film opened with $46,000,000 in the US after months and months of speculation and heated, ugly arguments on the web. A lot was riding on the reboot, especially for franchise-hungry Sony who saw the supernatural comedy as a launching point for a new shared universe (remember talk of a Channing Tatum-led Ghosbusters spin-off?). After the impressive debut, the comedy never took off like it needed to. The film has pulled in $180 million globally, with $117 million of that made in the states. Carrying a budget of $144 million and millions more in marketing, the film needed about $300 million to be considered a success. Obviously, it won’t come close to that especially after it was banned in China.
What caused the less-than-stellar returns for the movie? The reviews were solid, with critics praising the cast chemistry and energy. Open-minded fans who actually judged the movie on its merits and not on distorted opinions liked it. Perhaps the failure of the film can be attributed to a busy summer season and reboot fatigue. We live in an age when practically everything gets rebooted, eventually one of them wasn’t going to land with audiences. The other truth is that comedies just don’t make $300,000,000 no matter how many special effects they contain. It’s a shame the project fell short because it showed lots of promise and had heart, humor, and imagination. It’s also unfortunate that the dark shadow of internet ugliness will linger over the film’s legacy.
So what’s next for Ghosbusters? THR notes that Sony is hard at work on an animated film for 2019. They’re also ramping up a cartoon show for 2018. Who’s to say they won’t try to reboot the franchise again? It wouldn’t be the first time the studio relaunched after a relaunch.