Ghostbusters Is The Movie Of The Summer
The fact that Hollywood was producing a Ghostbusters reboot has been driving film fans and the internet in general wild for over a year now. In part, this is because director Paul Fieg and Co. made the bold and progressive decision to recast the main roles with comic actresses. It’s also in part because the original Ghostbusters is simply an iconic film to so many people. But part of the attention generated by the remake was also extremely negative; when its first trailer came out, it broke a record to become the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history. Frankly, it looked like a bomb.
But now that we’ve reached mid-July, and Ghostbusters is coming out this week, it suddenly looks like the movie of the summer. How did we get from the most disliked trailer in modern history to the Ghostbusters frenzy we’re in the middle of now?
For one thing, Columbia Pictures and others behind Ghostbusters significantly ramped up the publicity campaign following the negative response to the first trailer, as well as some buzz about conflict on the set. It may be that the major publicity push was planned from the beginning, but it also doesn’t seem like a coincidence that we started seeing non-stop Ghostbusters ads not long after the YouTube debacle. Perhaps most notably, the film dominated the ads throughout the month-long NBA playoffs. Sports Illustrated posted one ad for the film that featured multiple NBA superstars in Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and up-and-comer Kristaps Porzingis.
But it wasn’t just TV commercials that helped to spread the Ghostbusters brand leading up to this summer. Thousands upon thousands of online gamers encountered the same brand among Gala Bingo’s pop culture-heavy slots and games, where numerous titles based on movies and television are often featured. The platform hosts an official game featuring iconic characters and monsters (including the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man) from the original film that populate the pay-lines, and the effect is that you can’t help but get a little bit excited about the remake. Similarly, we saw Ghostbusters licensing in mobile games, and even the return of the Ecto-Cooler Hi-C.
Advertising aside, we may also be seeing more enthusiasm for Ghostbusters as a result of the fact that the height of summer has been lackluster at the cinema. This year, the superhero blockbusters are early and late, with Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse already in the rearview and Doctor Strange and Suicide Squad still to come. That left a gap to be filled by the likes of Independence Day: Resurgence, but with that film underperforming at the box office it feels as if we’re in the midst of an unusual midsummer lull. Thus, people are looking for a good popcorn flick, and Ghostbusters will be happy to fill the role.
But perhaps best of all for the folks behind Ghostbusters is that this film is actually getting good reviews! Rotten Tomatoes’ aggregate score at the time of this writing is 74 percent positive, good for a “fresh” rating. The site also claims that 89 percent of readers want to see the movie, which probably forecasts a pretty great box office performance. And of course, let’s not ignore that fact that it is full of an amazing female cast! Female nerds all over have been waiting for a movie like this, making Ghostbustersa breath of fresh air.
We’ll know in a few weeks just how well this movie ends up doing. But right now it appears to be in the midst of an unlikely resurgence, from bad early word to film of the summer.