When Jason Reitman's Secret Ghostbusters project was revealed to the world, we should all be ridiculously excited. The director is extremely talented and even more important, he is the son of the man who made the original film. In the context of things like Halloween and Terminator restarting to reflect more closely the spirit of the originals (ignoring the bad aftermath), this should have been heralded as a clever idea.
But because of the toxic culture inspired by Ghostbusters' remake of 2016 – particularly the nasty way it was received online long before anyone saw it – that conversation turned into something else.
Despite public reactions to this reboot (his Audience Scores in Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB are not anomalous – they are reactive and reflective), now there are proponents of the film coming out to say the decision to ignore the reboot and continue the original timeline is inexcusable. An open letter was written, which is always a sign that people are crazy.
And then Leslie Jones – SNL star and one of four actors who replaced "the originals" in Paul Feig's remake – agreed to Twitter by saying she was disgusted by the decision to erase the remake of the existence. No matter that Jason Reitman has made his respect to the remake in the ad of the film or has recognized that he would not be against seeing more of the schedule, he is now a villain in that conversation as Sony is to canter a planned universe of Busters with the female cast .
But let's be frank here. Just because an actress is militant about her reboot being ignored does not force a studio to pay attention. What they pay attention to – as if you need to be informed – is money. They care about the public, not the critics (and that's why the critical score of Ghostbusters 2016 on Rotten Tomatoes does not really matter).
How many open letters that could fill a virtual post-bag can be written on this issue, but that will not change the simple fact that a continuation of that timeline is simply not welcome for most fans. And in terms of box office success, the biggest crowd shouts louder, which tends to manifest itself in the face of political moves started in social media.
In such an environment, an account can amplify outrage and become a dangerous play that leads people to lose their jobs as Oscar hosts or movies that drop scenes or actors from roles they did not know to be washed white (as in case of the next Hellboy). But this is a losing battle for anyone who wants to sell the second chance at Ghostbusters 2016 because you can not convince a studio to change its mind about something that has not made money.
Remember that Dredd sequel? Hellboy 3 by Guillermo Del Toro? Alien by Neill Blomkamp? Those were great, were not they? Sequences that the fans wanted the studios to do, though their predecessors did not make enough money and did not make sense in real business terms based on projections and facts and not on social media saying "oh, I want the movie to happen." , they were not, because they did not happen.
if you build, they will come. Equally, if you do not buy the tickets, they will not build it.
What matters to Sony in front of the Ghostbusters is not the nostalgia of getting Reitman to drive. It's not that they can dial in for the nostalgic fetish the minute across the culture (Stranger Things, Sabrina, Halloween, Candyman, Child's Play … this is not a problem, fans are chewing new stuff). It's not that they can get the original cast to do what they refused to do for three decades and, most of the time, get together. It is not that they have the right story to continue this timeline. They are all factors, but none of them would matter if the Ghostbusters 2016 had made some money.
Even entertaining the idea of doing this reboot in the first place, the studio was doing what they thought was the right business move. They could not do Ghostbusters 3 because it simply was not an option and they thought bringing a women-only team would be positive. They were not making a political decision, they were doing a business, and then, when the movie earned only $ 229.1 million from an initial budget of $ 144 million, they made another business decision. The disputed franchise was dead in the water.
Sony took a shower in that movie. It does not matter that criticism is generally favorable or that it is a progressive idea to have an exclusively female cast or that Leslie Jones thinks a sequel should happen. Marketing costs required a $ 300 million return at box office and, as Paul Feig himself said, movies like this would need to make $ 500 million. What he did not explicitly say was that it was NECESSARY to make Sony consider it to be remotely successful and to continue with its plans for sequels.
In the end, the losses in the film were projected for something between $ 25 million and $ 75 million and the performance of the film actively contributed to Sony receiving $ 1 billion in January 2017. This is not speculation, is fact reported by Sony. Why the hell would they persist with a franchise that would do that?
In addition, including the uniquely female reboot in a follow-up to the original Ghostbusters timeline makes no sense. Let's be clear here, the decision to reboot, firstly eliminated the originals (so it was marketed as a reboot and the original cast appeared for downright horrific appearances). There was no consideration, at that moment, to worry about the originals or how angry someone could be with the continuity of continuity. This is how the reboots work and his choice not to make a sequel made his inclusion in Reitman's project impossible, no matter how many positive lessons the director could take from that film to his.
What matters to Sony is that Ghostbusters 2 did what the 2016 Ghostbusters failed to do. It may have a considerably worse rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but grossed $ 215.3 million with a budget of $ 37 million, initially breaking the record for the biggest three-day weekend in history (until Batman appeared a few weeks later and broke again). It ended up being the eighth highest-grossing film of 1989 and that's what matters.
They may also have looked at the Ghostbusters video game, released in 2009, to reflect the financial viability of continuing the timeline, as it did then. What they would have found was a "true sequel" – at least in fan perception – that was released in June 2009 and recorded US sales of one million copies by the end of July of the same year. This is a figure that would have raised smiles.
When Sony was thinking of continuing a brand, KNEW was financially viable, because Ghostbusters are, they looked at only two things. They analyzed the financial performance of a movie that contributed to a write-down of $ 1 billion and they observed one that broke records. It does not matter that they are 30 years apart because the studios work absolutely black and white. One of them was a yes, one was a no and no matter how many open letters were written, how many tweets Leslie Jones sends, how horrible that a progressive and well-meaning movie failed … It's not personal, it's the deal.
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