In case you've lost track of time in this fast-paced summer of box office hits, Ghostbusters is opening this weekend. With the critical reviews setting very mixed expectations, it's anyone's guess as to how the film will hit with the general public. However, that won't stop the analysts from making adjusted predictions, and it looks like the initial estimate of $40 - $50 million looks to be on the money, with the higher end of the spectrum winning out.
A healthy $50 million target has been set for Paul Feig's modern reboot of the 1984 comedy classic, with The Wrap confirming the previously reported estimates that set that same amount as the high water mark for Ghostbusters' first weekend at the movies. While it's easy to see this as a triumph, particularly in a summer of weak offerings, the fact that the needle hasn't moved too far from the original estimates is pretty concerning. Especially considering last weekend's box office results, which saw The Secret Life of Pets totally trounce the competition.
With a better than expected $104.3 million haul in its first weekend of competition, the Illumination Entertainment picture puts itself on track for a pretty big second weekend. In the worst case scenario, should the film drop the standard 50% in its second weekend, we could see around $52 million into The Secret Life of Pets' doggy dish. Though a best case scenario could see the film only dropping 46%, much like Finding Dory before it, which would land its second frame grosses in the $56 million ballpark. It's that latter scenario that forecasts are predicting will occur, putting Ghostbusters in an interesting scenario.
Now while landing a second place finish would still put Ghostbusters in a comfortable niche, seeing as the film's fiercest opponents would see it ranking in so low that another Saw re-release would be a good idea, it is a result that will leave many questioning the film's success. Again, this film has been made for $154 million, plus whatever astronomical advertising expenses Sony has used to ensure it's "endless" franchise gets off on the right foot. With such a moderately successful opening weekend before the release of Star Trek Beyond and Jason Bourne, there's not going to be a lot of audience leftover to make Ghostbusters a hit over time.
As we've found in numerous cases, and as we've even suggested previously for Ghostbusters itself, the international market could save this flick's skin, thus allowing the new quartet of spectral slamming protagonists to fight whatever is waiting past the end credits. Though the question of how powerful the Ghostbusters brand is outside of the United States has never been fully answered, considering Ghostbusters II was released in 1989, and the international market wasn't as open as it is today.
These questions, and more, will be answered when Ghostbusters crosses the streams and tries to trap your box office dollars, starting with early Thursday night showings.