Home Entertainment Paul Feig has some regrets about the Ghostbusters reboot

Paul Feig has some regrets about the Ghostbusters reboot

4 min read

Will you folks just give one more minute? I just need to don some flame-retardent clothing as things are probably about to get fiery up in here thanks to a couple of very hot takes. You see, I actually had fun watching Paul Feig’s all female Ghostbusters reboot last year. Yes, the film had its issues, like uneven scripting and some jokes falling flat, but it also had a funny charm to it as well as Chris Hemsworth’s lovable doofus Kevin. And I’m not some weird, freak of nature outlier in this opinion as the film boasts a 74% rating on RottenTomatoes with mostly favourable reviews averaging 6.5/10. Heck, even the average user review score is around the same mark with 3.1/5. Yes, those aren’t great numbers, but they’re a far cry from terrible as well.

Terrible, though, is exactly the word that would be used to describe Ghostbusters’ box office fortunes though. It opened in July last year to an okay $46 million on the first weekend in the US, which was actually the biggest opening of Feig’s career. There was just the slight problem of that not being big enough for a movie that cost a reported $144 million to make. Add in the costs of a massive marketing campaign and apparently $30-40 million worth of reshoots, and Ghostbusters would have needed to clear at least $300 million to break even. As the film plummeted down the US charts in later weeks and failed to ignite the international box office, it would end its run well short of the mark on $229 million. It’s been estimated that Sony had to write off at least $70 million on the film.

So what happened? If the movie was actually not too bad, why did people just not go see it? Well, that may have had something to do with how it became the poster child for the “all-female reboot” phase that Hollywood was going through at the time. A phase that many fans really didn’t appreciate, as they believed their beloved franchises were being revived purely just to make what some decried as a politicized gender equality statement. And oh boy, did they make their voices heard online. Unfortunately, for the film’s fortunes, Feig and his cast also didn’t back down from this negative reaction, defending their film’s cause vociferously. And that’s the problem, according to what the director told Vulture earlier this week.

I think it kind of hampered us a little bit because the movie became so much of a cause. I think for some of our audience, they were like, ‘What the f-ck? We don’t wanna go to a cause. We just wanna watch a f-ckin’ movie.’

Personally, I had no intrinsic problem with the idead of making a new generation of Ghostbusters that appealed to a portion of the market that has generally been sidelined (maybe better served with a sequel instead of a reboot though?). Girls need action heroine role models that they can identify with – they yearn for it, as Wonder Woman made so abundantly clear with its success earlier this year. And Ghostbusters definitely succeeded in some regard here, as tons of fans immediately fell in love with Kate McKinnon’s oddball Ghostbuster Holtzmann. Alas though, this would be the last they see of her as Feig’s plans for a franchise were shot down by it’s poor box office.

It was a great regret in my life that the movie didn’t do better, ’cause I really loved it… It’s not a perfect movie. None of my movies are perfect. I liked what we were doing with it. It was only supposed to be there to entertain people.

Hey, consider me entertained at least!

And now, a slight diversion, but something that I feel I need to address. You may have noticed that earlier I said that I had “a couple of very hot takes” but only presented one so far. You see about a month ago, I rewatched Ivan Reitman’s original two Ghostbusters films for the first time in decades. Now, it’s a widely regarded fact that Ghostbusters 2 is not a great film, but – and here’s where the temperature starts to rise again – neither is the first Ghostbusters!

Yes, the 1984 classic certainly has its breezy goofy charms but the plotting is also haphazard at best, several of the jokes fall painfully flat, and Ernie Hudson’s Winston serves no purpose with his late entry (this was the result of last-minute script changes to give Bill Murray’s character more screentime). The only people who seem to really be making it work are Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis and Annie Potts. Even Murray appears to be sleepwalking through a lot of his material. Yes, I know some of you folks are reaching for the gasoline and matches right about now, but remove childhood nostalgia from the picture and review it objectively and the film’s faults are glaring as hell.

And on that bombshell last note: COME AT ME, BRO!

Last Updated: November 24, 2017


  1. Some…..SOME????????????


  2. RinceThis

    November 24, 2017 at 10:13

    The movie sucked 😛


  3. Allykhat

    November 24, 2017 at 10:15

    But why reboot? Why not do something original with an all-female cast? They were trying to ride the nostalgia wave using Ghostbusters while injecting their agenda into it to get their point across.

    I thought the film was stupid… and not because of the all-female cast. The movie was silly to the point that the funniness of it was lost.

    Wonder Woman… now that was a brilliant movie to equate to a strong female lead character with great female supporting cast. Gal Gadot, much like Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad, are focuses in the DCEU films, not just because they are women, but because they play such important and engaging roles in the narrative and progression of the plot. Ghostbusters you could have switched every single gender role from the lead characters to the villains and it would have been just as stupid.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      November 24, 2017 at 10:31

      Back before this was officially announced and we were just hearing rumblings of a new Ghostbusters that could feature an all-female cast, I admittedly was waaaaaay more excited about the idea of a sequel than a reboot. And it’s such an easy concept to sequel-ize. The idea that was there for Ghostbusters 3 about how the team was now franchising out the concepts was a great one, in my opinion.


  4. Charl

    November 24, 2017 at 10:17

    I enjoyed the remake. It was fun and in my opinion pretty much on par with the old one. I do wish they kinda shot it as a continuation of the old one though mostly because I would have hoped for a teamup sequal.


  5. DaxterZA

    November 24, 2017 at 10:21

    The problems I had with this movie:

    1. It should have been a sequel to the old films, still with the all female cast and the original cast reprising their roles.
    2. The jokes were super lame. I dont recall laughing once watching this movie. It was a cringe fest.
    3. Overall story was disappointing.
    4. The roles that the cast from the previous movies had was a wasted opportunity do do something awesome.

    Im a huge fan of the old Ghostbusters movies, and the new one just didnt do it for me.


  6. Original Heretic

    November 24, 2017 at 10:22

    My big issue with this movie was that it seemed to go out of it’s way to make men look bad. I had NO issue with the all female-led cast. So I went into it feeling hopeful.
    But then EVERY SINGLE MALE character in the movie (apart from the antagonist), was portrayed as an absolute moron. Or someone who just dismissed the women’s opinions because they were women.
    In a movie about ghosts and scientists who want to catch ghosts, THAT was the most unbelievable part.


  7. Magu

    November 24, 2017 at 10:23

    How can you possibly think that you could get away with replacing Bill Murray in one of his most iconic roles.


  8. RinceThis

    November 24, 2017 at 10:28

    I’m going to say it. Ghostbusters was cool in its time. It was never a great movie, it’s nostalgia that makes us like it. Try watching it again, it’s not even funny. *RUNS


    • Admiral Chief Silver Dragon

      November 24, 2017 at 10:28

      Try some Immodium, it should help with the runs


  9. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 24, 2017 at 11:00

    I didn’t like this movie, it was just a bunch of lame slapstick with a terrible story. I got more entertainment from all the internet fights it caused, people were dying on hills everywhere.

    And for all the talk about it, Kevin got the best line:
    “An aquarium is like a submarine for fish.”


  10. atomicjuicer

    November 24, 2017 at 11:55

    The movie screamed IN YOUR FACE POLITICS. It was a massive turnoff. I wonder was it a contributing factor in Trump’s success?

    The problem with modern feminism is that it doesn’t want equality. It wants to replace mostly faded bigotry against women with new strong bigotry against men.


    • Admiral Chief Silver Dragon

      November 24, 2017 at 12:45

      “The problem with modern feminism is that it doesn’t want equality. It wants to replace mostly faded bigotry against women with new strong bigotry against men.”
      Sadly, very true


  11. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    November 24, 2017 at 12:12

    Was an entertaining movie.

    Also, rotten tomatoes is a joke. Not a funny one.


  12. Anon A Mouse

    November 24, 2017 at 12:43

    What happened with the Oceans 11 reboot with the all female cast, that went dead quickly.

    The fact that I can’t remember a single scene from this movie tells me that it was truly MEH material to begin with.

    They should stop doing reboots and rather just do something original, and keep the politics out of it as well.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      November 24, 2017 at 14:42

      Ocean’s 8 is is in post-production at the moment and releases in June next year.


  13. For the Emperor!

    November 24, 2017 at 13:59

    Before my rant I will say that this movie was not as bad as some made it out to be. Maybe a 5.5 out of 10 for me. Lackluster and cringe worthy at times, but I made it through in one go.

    I have no issue with a female led reboot/sequel (I even had hopes for Oceans if done right), but come with a proper idea and plan to execute! Doing it for the sake of doing it does an injustice to the source material, the fans AND the actors involved. It also puts a dent in equality progress made in Hollywood! Then doubling down on SJW rhetoric as a marketing campaign when people do not like the direction you are going can actually alienate people who wanted to see the movie*. I was going to see it in the cinema until that rhetoric started. “You just hating on this movie because you hate women” was not a good PR move by the studio/publisher.

    *‘What the f-ck? We don’t wanna go to a cause. We just wanna watch a f-ckin’ movie.’


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