Home Entertainment Sony’s bad streak continues as Ghostbusters could lose the studio $50 million or more

Sony’s bad streak continues as Ghostbusters could lose the studio $50 million or more

4 min read


If you read my US box office report from yesterday, then you would know that the Paul Feig directed all-female Ghostbusters remake has dropped out of the top 10 charts after just 5 weeks. It’s currently sitting on a domestic gross of $121.68 million and total worldwide tally of $193.88 million. That is simply not enough when viewed against its $144 million price tag; a figure that you will need to at least double when you factor in advertising costs which Sony Pictures had to fork out as well. It would appear that busting was not making the studio feel good after all.

While not exactly must-see fare like previous team-ups between Feig and leading lady Melissa McCarthy, many reviewers, myself included, found the movie to be a lot more enjoyable than the dumpster fire disaster some of the trailers were showing it to be (it has a 73% Fresh rating on RottenTomatoes with an average score of 6.5). Of course, decent reviews don’t matter when half the internet is fully intent on hating you no matter what because you apparently ruined their childhoods, peed in their corn flakes, kicked their puppies and are actually retroactively responsible for the 2008 US housing collapse, all with the power of your lady parts.


But whatever the reason for audiences not turning up for the remake, the fact remains that they just didn’t. And that is incredibly bad news for Sony, who was banking on this film being the big success they needed after still reeling from the investor fallout of the 2014 Sony hack, which saw all the studio’s dirty laundry aired for the public. On top of that, Sony had an atrocious 2015, filled with US box office bomb after box office bomb like The Interview, Concussion, The Walk, Aloha, Chappie, Ricki and The Flash, Pixels and more. In a year where Universal made $1.3 billion and Disney $1 billion in the US, Sony’s entire domestic box office receipts for 2015 totaled just $285 million. That’s $30 million less than the last Minions film made on its own.

And their 2016 wasn’t looking much better as The Brothers GrimsbyPride and Prejudice and Zombies, and The Fifth Wave all tanked domestically. In other words, Ghostbusters wasn’t just supposed to be a a huge tentpole feature bringing back a beloved franchise with some of the funniest actresses around today, it was supposed to be the start of a new franchise that would right all Sony’s financial woes. Except it’s just worsened them.


According to Variety, if it stays on its current trajectory, Ghostbusters will finish its theatrical run having earned in the region of $240 million. It still needs to open in a few markets like Japan, Korea, Spain, France and Mexico, and the film’s toy merchandising has been a surprise success, but anyway you cut it, that’s a loss. How much of a loss? Well, that’s not entirely easy to say as studios often don’t disclose exact advertising figures, but according to sources we’re looking at it being about $75 million in the red, if not more as insiders claim the film’s reported $144 million production budget to actually be a lot higher. Sony has several co-financing deals set up with smaller production companies, which means that loss gets spread around bit, but the studio itself will probably have to write off about $50 million of its own cash on this one, if not more. Village Roadshow, who had one quarter stake in the film, will be about $25 million out of pocket.

Sony suits are still desperately trying to spin this in a good light though, with one spokesperson indicating that “We couldn’t be more proud of the incredible movie that Paul Feig made,” and another saying that it “has reignited a 30-year-old brand and put it into the modern zeitgeist. As a result, we have many ideas to further exploit the Ghostbusters universe.”


That last bit about “many ideas to further exploit the Ghostbusters universe” is the most telling of the bunch, as it appears that Sony’s plans for a new feature film franchise has now been thoroughly slimed. Instead, it appears as if the studio might want to retool this as an animated feature film and/or animated TV series spinoff in 2019. You may recall that there were already talks of an unrelated animated Ghostbusters feature film before this movie got released, so expect those to start heating up again, but possibly now incorporate the new characters instead. Hey, they have to keep up those action figure sales somehow to at least salvage something from this!


Last Updated: August 17, 2016


  1. I didn’t go see it mainly because I wasn’t interested. It didn’t seem like I would enjoy it so I wasn’t going to waste my time. Zero f…cares were given about the whole female cast internet cry baby BS.


    • The Order of the Banana

      August 17, 2016 at 12:38

      I’m waiting for it to be on etv. No way, I’m paying money to see that trash.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 17, 2016 at 09:19

    They (all movie studios) need to get over this idea that they’re going to start billion dollar franchises with a single movie people have yet to see. It makes them look very stupid when it fails – like Dracula Untold wasn’t the beginning of Universal’s shared monster universe franchise because it didn’t perform well, even though it was, and the same with this reboot.

    I have no vested interest in Ghostbusters because I don’t really care about the originals. I haven’t watched the reboot and I’ve no desire too, not even for curiosity’s sake, because I watched the trailers and it just looked stupid. I can’t stand movies with a pie-in-the-face level of humour.


  3. Admiral Chief

    August 17, 2016 at 09:29

    Hahaha hulle het gedink hulle Sony geld verloor nie


    • HairyEwok

      August 17, 2016 at 09:55

      Gotta love afrikaans at times XD


    • Ghost In The Rift

      August 17, 2016 at 09:59

      N grap is n grap maar jy maak nie n sambreel in n man se hol oop nie XD


  4. BakedBagel

    August 17, 2016 at 10:37

    “Of course, decent reviews don’t matter when half the internet is fully intent on hating you no matter what”

    Ahhh after seeing almost every good piece of entertainment from the 80’s/90’s being ruined by money hungry companies, that “hate” was fully justified.


    • Rui Alexandre

      August 17, 2016 at 11:54

      Glad in the 80s there was no internet, or movies like… The Thing, Cape Fear, Three Men and a Baby, Scarface, Scent of a Woman or The Fly would have been still born due to all the 30 or 40 something haters that can’t handle their childhoods being ruined!


      • BakedBagel

        August 17, 2016 at 12:04

        You have to be kidding me right?

        Compare 30 or 40 people to the most disliked trailer/video on youtube to date.

        Its not “haters” who are sick of money hungry reboots. Its the majority.

        And its not about a childhood’s being ruined. Its the profit before entertainment motives of the last decade. I can say with relative confidence, that the only reason this ghostbusters was made was because in the past they saw it turn a profit.

        Not because of the fans, or a celebration of the original. But for cold hard dosh.


      • MosesZD

        August 21, 2016 at 23:32

        Nonsense. They were good remakes. But there were plenty of remakes that were bad. King Kong Lives. Tarzan the Ape Man (starring Bo Derek). Flash Gordon. Hercules. King Solomon’s Mines. And there were a lot more. These are just the ones from the 30s/50s that I can remember.


  5. Daniel Jansson

    August 17, 2016 at 10:48

    I have seen it, yesterday to be exact. I am going to give my opinion in a review of the film, this weekend in my movie review blog, Daniels Super Sexy Movie Reviews.


  6. chimera_85

    August 17, 2016 at 11:03

    Frak Sony, they should give up and just make PlayStation and tv’s cos they are frakking up everything else 😀


    • helicopter

      August 17, 2016 at 11:25

      its their American executives who ruined everything for them.

      Their Japanese executives are still pretty much inline with their customers. Meanwhile their American executives are busy promoting their liberal agenda while fattening up their pockets.

      It all boils down to work ethics


      • chimera_85

        August 17, 2016 at 11:32

        Perhaps but even with PS, theyre not really “For The Players” imo but I agree thought, their American side has frakked up more.


  7. Joseph Stoneman

    August 17, 2016 at 11:11

    Mattel reported sales of GB toys as “better than anticipated”. That doesn’t mean they were a success. There are also reports that stores reduced the prices and moved them to clearance aisles before the film was released. So much spin over this it is ludicrous.


  8. Neel Gupta

    August 17, 2016 at 12:15

    Nowdays, Money is in the games… Mobile Games
    Sony should really look into creating some Android/iOS MMORPG, if it wants to rake in money !


  9. The Order of the Banana

    August 17, 2016 at 12:37

    Yes! Now throw Paul Fieg, his tiny man balls and all copies of this abortion of a movie into a volcano!

    Incidentally, we’re nearing the two year anniversary of Gamergate and the losers behind “Gamers are Dead”: Two years later, Gawker has been forced to Bankruptcy, Polygon is a laughing stock, Leigh Alexander no longer works in the industry and nu media continues to dig the grave of traditional media.

    It’s good to be a gamer and alive! Muahahahaha


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      August 17, 2016 at 13:49

    • wafle7350 .

      August 18, 2016 at 01:50

      yep Gamergate won im happy, i tended to agree with them more, not so much anymore. Now they are just a bunch of trump bots who believe anything breirtbart or heatstreet tells them to, like those sites are any different from the likes of salon or buzzfeed, sjw and gamergate are two sides of the same coin, opposite sides idiots going around bullying people of the other side.

      Go play videogames and shut up about how victimized you are.


      • The Order of the Banana

        August 18, 2016 at 08:38

        Yeah, the liberal media really shot themselves in the foot by alienating gamers -and yes it’s sad, that most gamers found themselves turning to Trump and Breibart… sigh! Breibart… the Guardian or Salon of Conservatives. Ugh! It’s truly as bad as Fox News (which incidentally, I watch purely for when I need to set up a drinking game)


      • Harrison Jaegermeister

        August 21, 2016 at 15:52

        Dude Gamergate never bullied any1 most of them were 3rd party trolls unaffiliated


  10. Miranda Share

    August 17, 2016 at 15:29

    Oh, it’s fail. I cant look it at cinema if can find somes better on torrent http://www.torrof.com/ghostbusters


  11. For the Emperor!

    August 17, 2016 at 16:36

    I did not feel I “needed” a new Ghostbusters movie, but I do not begrudge a new one being made or that they did a gender swap (though if they complain about diversity in Hollywood why do “reverse-not-diverse” – practise what you preach). The trailers did not get me excited about the movie at all, but I still might have gone to see it in Cinema. When the whole “you only hate it because you are a chauvinist pig” wave started on the Interwebz (I know this is true for some, but “they” made it sound like ALL the hate was because of that), I decided I will not bother because if you need THAT to sell your movie I walk away. It is possible I even started feeling negative about the movie at that point, but right now it is more like DILLIGAF. Might be a decent movie, I do not know. I will not actively seek it out, though maybe one day I will see it if it happens to cross my path. Hope they can get their act together though.


  12. gast

    August 18, 2016 at 08:06

    i am so glad that the movie is a flop


  13. Bill_Goodwin

    August 18, 2016 at 13:38

    It is a shit movie that tried to hide behind the gender of its cast. I won’t be shamed and browbeat into pretending it was a decent film.


  14. Daniel Jake

    August 18, 2016 at 15:35

    Serves them right for thinking they could just screw the fans over and make a quick buck from pillaging a franchise. Studios take note.


  15. Chris

    August 18, 2016 at 19:00

    And with this, any credibility you might have had on this subject completely evaporated: “Of course, decent reviews don’t matter when half the internet is fully intent on hating you no matter what because you apparently ruined their childhoods, peed in their corn flakes, kicked their puppies and are actually retroactively responsible for the 2008 US housing collapse, all with the power of your lady parts.”

    Decent reviews? Please. How were the viewer reviews you hack?


  16. DemonRonin

    August 18, 2016 at 22:07

    They could have gone the extreme ghost busters route. They choose to shamelessly pander instead. I feel no pity for em.

    On a bright side the ghostbusters comics from IDW are great!

    Your really want to go on about “girl power”? Genie with a proton pack does more for that cause then the four women in this new movie.


  17. Joe Bloggs

    August 19, 2016 at 01:46

    A $50 million loss? Come off it, stop reading Sony press releases. When you take into account production costs, advertising and distribution, it looks like this movie will lose $150+ million. It probably would have been cheaper for the studio if they had never released this movie.


  18. Gavin Mannion

    August 19, 2016 at 08:19

    I thought the trailers were fine for a popcorn movie like this… The 4 female leads thing always felt a little pushed but I don’t think I’d have gone to see this at a cinema even if it was all male or mixed or whatever. It’s always felt like a fun rental


  19. Neither Friend Nor Enemy

    August 20, 2016 at 02:35

    yeah I didn’t see it because Paul Feig’s writing is so lame (all men are mean to women wah wah wah, we get it feig, you really get women….right),

    I would have loved a female ghostbusters from a filmmaker who could have nailed it… why not hire a female director to do it? blame sony, not fanboys


  20. Stefan

    August 20, 2016 at 06:41

    According to Box Office Mojo, Sony made around a billion US$ in 2015.


  21. MosesZD

    August 21, 2016 at 23:07

    Do you have HAVE to be foolish. Remakes are fraught with peril. Better do a good job or you’re going to pay the price.

    And what they did was make one of the most obnoxious and unfunny movie trailers I’ve ever seen. And then acted like ***holes and acting as if it was the female cast and misogyny that caused it to be thumbed down. Which, in turn, got the trolls out if full force to make it a spectacle.

    Yet you look at the Rogue One trailers — Trailer One – Female lead 94% positive. Trailer Two – Same thing, 96% positive. The Force Awakens — Female & Black Man leads – 98% positive. Hunger Games Trailers — they all came in between 95% and 98% positives. And so it goes, good trailer after good trailer after good trailer. All featuring movies with a strong, important female lead.

    So stop with the put-downs. The trailer bombed. Fieg handled it like a fool. People like myself, who are dubious to remakes anyway, ran from the movie. Not because of sexism or misogyny. But because we’ve had too many crappy remakes made by fools looking to cash-in on franchises.

    And that’s what this movie was. A crappy cash-in that, for some stupid reason, they decided to make it into some ‘girl-power’ thing with a lousy script, lousy jokes, lousy CGI and a lousy attitude when we didn’t fawn over the crappy trailer.


  22. jimjimmy123

    October 17, 2016 at 02:17

    babyfilm with thick man hate. Belongs in the early ages of cinema, not 2016.


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