Thursday, August 11, 2016
Ain't Afraid of No Toons: Sony To Re-Reboot 'Ghostbusters' Franchise with Animated Film?
Apparently the three-decades old franchise might have to turn to animation to stay alive...
For some, it isn't shocking, but Paul Fieg's reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise hasn't gained much traction at the domestic or worldwide box office. Sony, according to The Hollywood Reporter, expects to lose around $70 million. Sony representatives, however, have disputed this... But the fact remains, the $144 million-costing Ghostbusters sits at $180 million worldwide right now and will most likely not hit the break-even $300 million mark after it opens in a few more territories.
This sharply contrasts with the attitude that was going around on opening weekend, Sony was confident at the time and that a sequel would be greenlit along with a shared universe/multimedia franchise including a new TV cartoon and an animated feature film...
THR's sources now say that Sony is going back to square one, and is planning to go full steam ahead with the animated movie, which will be made at Sony Pictures Animation. Talk says it'll hit theaters in 2019 (Sony Animation recently did slate numerous "Untitled Sony Animation Franchise Films" throughout 2019 and 2020), while the animated TV show Ghostbusters: Ecto Force will still debut in 2018. The live-action sequel remains in limbo.
Sony Animation is good at being very franchise-oriented with their stuff these days, what with Emoji Movie on the horizon and a standalone animated Spider-Man film. "Ghostbusters Animated" would fit in nicely alongside all of that, but will it star animated versions of the Feig cast? Or the original members? Or maybe just a whole new team altogether. I don't know.
Honestly, Ghostbusters is a bit of a rough patch. Ghostbusters: The Video Game was pretty much "Ghostbusters III", so there was really no need to do a live-action threequel movie, but you know Hollywood. Bill Murray kept refusing to do it, then after Harold Ramis died, Sony raced to just reboot the whole thing instead. Getting an all-female cast initially excited me, that was until Sony's management changed after the hack, and subsequent weak marketing. I have yet to see Ghostbusters-2016, I hear that it's pretty flawed but ultimately good... So why did it not do so well? How come legs weren't up to snuff?
Well, you just never know with audiences. Good chunks of them must not have been blown away by it. I think all that overblown Internet controversy had little effect on it anyways, because you know what they say about the whiners... They are the "vocal minority". At the theater I work at, the promos and ads (my current work polo has the film's logo on the back, that got a lot of attention whenever I'd help people) always drew mixed responses from moviegoers. Things like "Oh my god, they're making a new Ghostbusters movie!" and "But it's gonna be all chicks. That's lame." Sony's marketing for the film was also mostly shambles, making even open-minded fans wince and worry.
Anyways... If Ghostbusters Animated is the future of the franchise, I think that's quite alright. Plus this series was never a stranger to the medium, for the 1986 cartoon spin-off The Real Ghostbusters was hugely successful. It's rare to see theatrical live-action franchises go animated, so it'll be interesting to see Ghostbusters make the jump. If it's successful, will we ever see another live-action franchise get a theatrical animated movie installment? That actually almost happened with Mad Max: Fury Road. At one time, George Miller intended to make the fourth installment of his series a CG anime-esque film. That would've been a real sight to see! Then you have your direct-to-video variety, things like The Animatrix, and... Kangaroo Jack: G'Day USA? (Remember that... Thing?)
What do you think will happen with Ghostbusters? Do you think an animated film could work? Sound off below!