The Ghostbusters reboot was a divisive film before it ever hit the screen. Now, that the film has been released, and we've all achieved some distance, Sony is looking at what's next for the franchise and while much is still unclear, what does seem certain is that a sequel is not the next thing on the agenda. According to a recent report, the focus of Ghost Corps, the new Ghostbusters focused production company headed by Ivan Reitman is the upcoming new animated spinoffs.
It was first reported several months ago, while the Ghostbusters reboot was still in its early days, that Sony and Ivan Reitman were also working on an animated Ghostbusters film alongside the live-action one. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, an animated film, scheduled to release in 2019, and an animated TV series, tentatively titled, Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, are the next projects on the docket for Ivan Reitman's production company. Since the animated series isn't even expected to drop until 2018, the one thing that this likely does mean is that there are no immediate plans for a sequel to the new Ghostbusters. If the studio wished, they could likely have a sequel in theaters by 2018, the year prior to the animated version. If they're looking at the animated film as the "next" Ghostbusters movie, then we likely won't see a live-action sequel until the summer of 2020 at the earliest.
While Sony isn't making any public comments regarding a live-action sequel, THR estimates that when it's all said and done Ghostbusters will lose something around $70 million. The film had a remarkably high budget for a comedy, due to all the digital effects work required, and while the box office wasn't awful, it certainly wasn't enough to make up for the costs. Sony disputes the number, saying that other revenue streams, like merchandise, licensing, and other partnerships will bring in much more money, although, it sounds like all that means is that the total loss will be reduced, not that the movie will make it into the black.
Whatever the final numbers look like, it's clear that Ghostbusters was not the smash that Sony was hoping, and thus it appears that they're looking to the new animated spinoffs as the next step for the franchise. Fletcher Moules was announced as the director for the film a few months back, but beyond that little is known about the new animated film. It's not even clear if the animated film will be a theatrical version of the Ecto Force series, or something different. It could feature animated versions of the 1984 Ghostbusters characters, the 2016 characters, or a third set that haven't even been created yet.
One way, or another, Sony has decided that Ghostbusters is a franchise they're going to exploit for the foreseeable future. New movies are coming, it's just a matter of what they look like.