Another November weekend is ahead, which means there’s some big box office potential headed our way. Will the audience call on the Ghostbusters with the release of the latest installment, Ghostbusters: Afterlife? Jason Reitman, the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, has helmed the sequel that will also see Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd and Ernie Hudson back in their jumpsuits, along with “Sexiest Man Alive” Paul Rudd and Stranger Things’ star Finn Wolfhard starring. Let’s take a look at the projections.
Ahead of the movie’s opening weekend, it’s being projected by Sony that Ghostbusters: Afterlife will make $27-$28 million during its domestic debut, and $45 million worldwide. The Deadline report isn’t mind-blowing, but considering the movie’s reported $75 million budget, Afterlife looks like it could be a relative success for the studio.
By comparison, 2016’s Ghostbusters, which starred Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, made $46 million domestically in its first weekend. However, that was against a $144 million production cost. In total, the all-female Paul Feig film made $229 million worldwide, which was almost $60 million shy of making double its cost, making for an underwhelming box office performance. When it comes to Afterlife, hitting over $225 million worldwide in theaters before it exits theaters sometime during the holiday season will be enough to deem the film a worthy successor.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is expected to be this week’s No. 1 movie, knocking off Eternals from its No. 1 spot during its third week at the box office, which is expected to take $13.4 million (a 50% decline from the week before). Venus and Serena Williams’ tennis biopic starring Will Smith, King Richard, is expected to open around $10 million, as it also debuts on HBO Max on the same day.
Afterlife has received mixed reviews from critics ahead of its theatrical release. CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell gave the movie three out of five stars in our Ghostbusters: Afterlife review, calling it a “sometimes unbalanced continuation of a beloved franchise” that has its positives, but enough shortcomings as well. The movie takes the series out of New York City and to a small town in Oklahoma where the grandchildren of the late Harold Ramis’ Egon Spengler move to and begin to uncover supernatural occurrences.
The new Ghostbusters movie places the focus on a new generation of Ghostbusters, as McKenna Grace’s Phoebe Spengler and Finn Wolfhard’s Trevor Spengler continue the Ghostbusters legacy. Also among the cast is Carrie Coon as their mother Callie Spengler, Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett, Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz and Josh Gad as Muncher. Ghostbusters: Afterlife will first debut during Thursday night screenings – we’ll keep you posted as the weekend progresses on how the sequel does commercially.