Ghostbusters: Afterlife tracking towards a $30-35 million opening at the box office

Ghostbusters: Afterlife, box office, box office tracking, Sony pictures

It has been a long time coming but Ghostbusters: Afterlife is finally ready to bust on some ghosts after dealing with delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sony Pictures moved the film around to ensure a proper theatrical release and now that it has finally arrived, box office tracking has weighed in on how much the movie is going to make out of the gate.

Per “Deadline“, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is tracking towards a $30-35 million opening at the box office this weekend. Sony Pictures is being more conservative with a $27-28 million estimate but it’s clear the studio is looking at the long-haul more than just this opening weekend.

Opening the film ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, and it being a family offering for an older and newer generation, could mean that the film will have some legs going into next weekend when families are free from work and school because of the holiday. Sony was smart to keep the budget relatively low for a tentpole release at $75 million so it won’t take much for the film to be a hit. The movie would have to seriously collapse in a big way to not see some kind of profit. The question is, how big is the demand for this latest installment?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife had a lot of momentum when it was announced because it felt like a return to form for fans of the franchise, particularly, the original film. 1984’s Ghostbusters is one of those undeniable classics of its time that has maintained a passionate fanbase even today. Having Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the original film, take on this entry gave this installment the credibility that the fans were seeking. Those very same fans were left seeing red when director Paul Feig took on the property with a 2016 female-driven reboot that became the target of internet trolls the moment it was announced. That film never really had a fighting chance with the fanbase, even though it turned out to be passable entertainment and not the trainwreck some were expecting. The Reitman name puts some respect on Ghostbusters: Afterlife and bringing back Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts, in a proper capacity, only adds to that respect.

The buzz on the film was very high out of CinemaCon with initial reviews saying it was the right blend of nostalgia and a fresh story that more than justified its existence. I have to say though, in recent weeks, that buzz has subsided a bit. The film has fallen to 66% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with some reviewers complaining that the film is drenched in too much nostalgia, which is pretty much the opposite of the initial response. That means, with its current score, it’s below the 74% fresh rating of the 2016 reboot. I honestly didn’t see this coming and I’m sure the internet will debate about what exactly happened to lead to this result. That being said, Ghostbusters: Afterlife could prove to be critic-proof, especially if the hardcore fanbase embraces it.

The 2016 Ghostbusters opened to $46 million and a “B+” CinemaScore which honestly isn’t all that bad given all the obstacles working against the film. The opening would’ve been fine but the movie carried a $144 million budget plus marketing costs and it just couldn’t maintain legs to match its budget domestically ($128.3 million final gross) and even at $229.1 million worldwide, it’s widely assumed that Sony Pictures lost money. Keeping the budget of the new film at $75 million was a smart move by Sony because most of the film’s success will come from domestic earnings. For some reason, the Ghostbusters IP has been more of a domestic performer rather than an overseas player so it’s going to be the domestic audience that determines the film’s fate.

Do YOU think the box office tracking for Ghostbusters: Afterlife is accurate or is it possible the film will open higher?

Source: Deadline

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