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Hollywood’s 30-year quest to turn Ghostbusters into a franchise

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In a biased / cruel irony, Jason Reitmans Ghostbusters: the afterlife (which I appreciated a little despite a few The Rise of Skywalker sensitivities) may earn a little less in theaters this month compared to Ghostbusters: answer the call (the unofficial nickname for the 2016 Paul Feigs remake) and still considered a solid commercial success. Yes, the $ 75 million Life after death (mostly located in a small town with relatively cheap actors and relatively small effects sequences) costs half of what Answer the call (with four renowned comedic actresses in the midst of an exaggerated yet unmistakably stunning and visually stunning fantasy performance) did it. More importantly, Hollywood is even more desperate for media franchises in 2021, amid uncertain pandemic variables and a streaming war, then they were in 2016 when streaming was just starting to suck up laid-back visits to the movies. just to see moviegoers. So why are Sony and their friends so determined to shoot ghost hunters in a movie franchise?

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Into the Void, Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis ghost hunters is one of the best slob vs. snob comedies released in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its little guys Against System Sentiments (with understandable Reagan-era anti-government politics) are in the same line. sandbox that the likes of Police academy (an R-rated comedy that spawned 4,000 sequels for children), Caddyshack, Grooves and Animal house. The original, PG-rated film was harmless enough (no brutal violence, with a shaking but non-traumatic ghostly threat and then-standard bawdy humor reduced to a minimum) to function as a four-quadrant film. Remember when was that Airplane! could get a PG with frontal female nudity and Back to the future has become a blockbuster for all ages despite being a time-traveling teenager fending off salacious advances from his teenage mother. The Bill Murray / Dan Aykroyd movie wasn’t for kids, but it was kid-friendly. And the then unusual mix of sarcastic comedy and expensive fantasy effects made it a true event movie.

ghost hunters was the first non-Spielberg and / or Lucas film (the Star wars trilogy, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws and HEY) to exceed the national 200 million dollars. With $ 229 million on a debut of $ 13.5 million, it was the first post-Star wars attempt at a fantastic large tent pole that stopped Star War-level box office, followed by R-rated Eddie Murphys Beverly Hills cop (235 million dollars at the end of 1984) and Back to the future ($ 211 million in the summer of 1985). Alas, Ghostbusters II made just $ 112 million domestically (compared to an early record of $ 29 million the week before Batman opened with $ 43 million) and $ 215 million on a budget of $ 25 million. As the questionable underperformance for Rambo III, Back to the Future III, Robocop III and Beverly Hills Cop III, the series might have been able to support another sequel. Aykroyd has spent decades trying to make Ghostbusters III happen, but a reluctant Bill Murray was usually the deal breaker. Ramis died in February 2014.

Every studio needs franchises, but audiences (mostly) only show up for what they’ve seen. Plus, unlike many of Sony’s 80s and 90s hits, ghost hunters is not so dependent on specific actors in specific roles. It’s not Harrison Ford as mad president Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are friends trying not to be lovers, Adam Sandler comedy or Will Smith action flick. The notion of a handful of people running to catch ghosts should not be limited to a specific cast or even a specific setting. Ideally, anyone can theoretically be a ghost hunter, and the uniforms, car, and fire station make it feel like James Bond or Batman tropes. However, this does not mean that the initial success of ghost hunters was not partially based on the people who made it and the time in which it existed. Notwithstanding the ancillary income (the animated series from the 80s was pretty good), ghost hunters may be another case where not all blockbusters are franchises.

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Paul Feig and Katie Dippolds Answer the call kissed anyone can be a ghost hunter motto. However, it still featured four popular sketch comedy actors in a present-day, New York-specific story about four scientists fired from academia and going into business for themselves just as New York City hits a perilous wave. paranormal activity. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon were less mercenaries than their 1980s counterparts. They were more interested in helping people (and getting credit as able-bodied scientists) than in getting rich. I like the expanded version a bit, but both cuts in the remake struggle with the desire to be their own thing and be both franchise-friendly and kid-friendly enough to appeal to young girls who want to consider themselves. like ghost hunters. Despite the sexist and racist backlash online and the madness of Culture Warfare, $ 229 million worldwide would have been a dodged bullet on a more reasonable budget.

Oddly enough, the best ghost hunters the sequel could be the 2009 video game. The cross-platform release starred most of the original cast members (Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis both politely passed) in a story that takes place just two years later. Ghostbusters II and offered a long, sprawling comedic adventure (cut scenes and gameplay videos ruin about 3.5 hours) that takes the franchise back to its cynical and not always kid-friendly roots. Venkman is once again a sarcastic jerk, with a new, much younger love interest to boot. The humor is more sarcastic and less quadrant, while the supernatural story is just a little darker and a little more violent than the first two films. Nor is he obsessed with IP-specific nostalgia or attempting to launch a cinematic universe. Aside from references in the universe (yes, you fight the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man), this is just another ghost hunters adventure. The well-reviewed and well-received game had sold three million copies in 2019.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009), Ghostbusters: answer the call (2016) and Ghostbusters: the afterlife (2021) represent three distinct ways in which intellectual property can be extended, perhaps beyond its original lifespan. You have the direct sequel, the remake, and the asymmetric legacy sequel. However, like many 80s / 90s blockbusters that were retroactively treated as franchises, ghost hunters was a singularly successful film that succeeded for specific reasons of the moment. It was the specific combination of Murray’s cast performance as a schmuck above all else (think Harrison Ford in Star wars and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean) amid more conventional fantasy characters (the true believers Ramis and Aykroyd and Ernie Hudsons working hard) in a big budget sci-fi fantasy that struck an almost impossible balance between comedy and adventure in horror classified PG. There came a time when a movie like ghost hunters was unique in itself, even among future blockbusters. It was originally positioned as a counter- Star wars Where Superman-like reverence.

Plus it was a nice example of a studio (Columbia and friends) trying to find the next Star wars doing something completely different Star wars. Life after death is basically doing the force awakens but with ghost hunters. Same Answer the call was arguably a cynical attempt to use a gender swap as a moral justification for what was otherwise a classic. Lets remake this singular blockbuster and hope that 3-D and an expanded overseas market will lead to increased global gains. Without the cultural implications, it wasn’t any purer than Sony’s remakes of Total recall Where Robocop. Both films are the fruit of the same toxic tree, namely the desire to artificially transform a singular theatrical success into a repeatable franchise. However, in a world where we were still becoming Batman movies, Spider Man This is his second reboot and Sylvester Stallone is still, against all odds, making Rocky and Rambo sequels, I guess it makes sense that ghost hunters always comes back to life.

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2/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2021/11/18/ghostbusters-hollywoods-doomed-30-year-quest-to-turn-a-blockbuster-into-a-franchise/

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