Once all the ridiculous controversy had faded and last year’s all-female Ghostbusters hit cinemas, Paul Feig and Sony ended up disappointed. Not in the film, but in the box office return. The studio was hoping for to kickstart a new long-running franchise, while potential spin-offs had already been mentioned before the film was released.
Unfortunately, the film failed to match the expectations the studio had for its box office intake. Producer Ivan Reitman spoke candidly about coming up short at the box office:
“We certainly would’ve loved to have a larger hit, but considering the last film was almost 30 years ago, it really did extremely well. I think the film cost too much, frankly, and that’s the real issue”.
“I personally had other points of view in terms of where the film should go and it was kind of a continuous conversation with Paul about that. But Paul was the filmmaker on this one and he’s a very talented director. I wanted to give him enough room to do the film he thought it should be”.
It’s good to hear stories about studios and producers staying away from a directors vision, but Reitman is probably correct that the film cost too much when it’s hardly designed as a blockbuster where the biggest draw of the film is impressive effects.
However, despite the setback, Reitman is forging ahead and hoping to take the franchise in new directions, starting with an animated film:
“We jumped into an animated film and we are developing live-action films, I want to bring all these stories together as a universe that makes sense within itself. Part of my job right now is to do that”.
Reitman mentioned he’d like to have the animated film in cinemas in 2019 or 2020, but added: “It depends on on how fast we can get it all together. It’s hard to make an animated film”.
With studios desperate for shared, interconnected universes to follow the success of the Marvel model but sometimes facing the smell of failure, that’s when they get creative. Ghostbusters has little need to be a huge franchise with spin-offs (supposedly starring Chris Pratt and Channing Tatum at one point) and interconnected stories, it just needs to be funny and charming.
We’ll wait and see what the potential animated film brings.