The 2016 Ghostbusters reboot will come out in just a few days (in the UK, it has been released since Monday). The film has been a hot, somewhat controversial topic of conversation for upwards of three years, from “why does Ghostbusters need a remake at all?” to “an all-woman cast? The feminists are taking over!” Then the first trailer dropped and instead of calming everyone down it stirred things up more, and quickly became the most disliked trailer in YouTube’s history (and YouTube has Adam Sandler trailers). In today’s PC age, people will call most anyone who hates this movie a sexist and anyone who lauds is a feminist, and that’s not OK; Ghostbusters should be allowed to flop or thrive without people having to make a point.
The film is currently tracking to open to around $45 million in the United States in its opening weekend. Carrying a pricetag of $144 million (before P&A), the film will need to gross around $500 million just to break even (rule of thumb is double your production budget for amount spent on marketing, then double that to be deemed a success). I honestly cannot see a world where Ghostbusters grosses $500 million, especially in this summer that we’ve had. Films like Alice Through the Looking Glass ($270 million gross against a $170m budget), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ($219m vs $135m) and Independence Day: Resurgence ($305m and counting against $165m) have all failed to meet both expectations and even half their predecessor’s grosses. The original Ghostbusters grossed $295 million in 1984 (a number which this reboot will beat) which is equal to almost $700 million in today’s dollar, a figure the reboot will not even dream of scraping.
What is my point to all this? My point is, do not see Ghostbusters just because you think you’re sticking it to internet trolls. On the same note, do not skip it just because you are angry that it is an all-women cast. You shouldn’t go out and buy 10 tickets just to stick it to misogynists just like you shouldn’t start a petition trying to get people to boycott the film. If the film does underperform, it is does not prove women are incapable of carrying a film, and I doubt it will affect any future female-driven projects (leave that burden to Wonder Woman). Flip side, if it becomes a hit it will be because of good word of mouth about a solid project, not because people have finally found the cure to sexism.
If Ghostbusters flops it is not because of its cast or even because people are angered by Hollywood cashing in on a 30-year-old franchise; it is going to be because it just wasn’t marketed well, and there’s nothing sexist about that.