Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Hollywood Babble On & On #1129: Haunted By Ghostbusters

How is this for Hollywood logic.

Columbia Pictures wants to release Ghostbusters 3. Which is natural since the first made $290+ million way back in 1984 which is roughly the equivalent of $659 million in today's money, and that's just according to the rate of inflation. Remember that ticket prices then were a fraction of what you pay now, and if you calculated the numbers of tickets sold with today's prices it might top a billion.

The sequel made around $215 million in 1989, and you can do the math on that one. Either way, wanting another sequel seems as natural, and inevitable as the sunrise.

However, there's a catch. Three catches to be specific...

1. The one Ghostbuster the fans most want in the movie, played by Bill Murray probably won't be in it, because Bill Murray doesn't feel like doing sequels.

2. Harold Ramis, who co-wrote the first two, many believing he gave them their structure and coherence, as well as playing another Ghostbuster, is now, tragically, a ghost.

3. Ivan Reitman, who reinvented the blockbuster comedy in the 1980s with films like the first two Ghostbusters has dropped out of directing the proposed third film.

So, two out of the four original Ghostbusters are either unwilling, or unable, to do it. It's lost a key player in the writing, and the director's gone.

That doesn't seem to bother Columbia, they've given the picture, which will most likely have a hefty price tag, a green light for release in 2015.

Now common sense dictates that making a big budget sequel 25 years after the last instalment, that's missing most of the elements that made the original a success has more checks in the CONS column than in the PROS column and might be dropped or at the least put off a while.

So why is Columbia rushing to make it?

One word answer is DESPERATION.

While Sony-Columbia-Tri-Star has the Spider-Man movie franchise and won't let it go, that's about it when it comes to franchises. Attempts to start new big budget blockbuster franchises like After Earth and Elysium either tanked horribly, or at best failed to turn a profit. 

They desperately need a blockbuster franchise to continue justifying their existence and the affection people have for the Ghostbusters franchise is seen as just what they need to put them back on top again.

But is their desperation sending them down a blind alley? Will the fans accept a Ghostbusters movie that's literally a ghost of the originals they knew and love? Expectations will be next to impossible to meet and could harm it at the box office.

We'll just have to see where this takes us, but I'm feeling cynical.

1 comment:

  1. Dan Aykroyd said on Twitter that the movie is going forward. All the actors are in their sixties now. Can't see this as being anything but a sad parody.