While the Ghostbusters reboot was met with derision from many quarters it was also embraced by many movie fans. Ultimately, however, the film has to be called a failure, and one of the original Ghostbusters knows why. While many were hypercritical of the film's premise, rebooting the Ghostbusters franchise with female leads, Dan Aykroyd doesn't blame that for the film's lack of success. He thought the movie itself was fantastic, the problem was it was far too expensive. According to Aykroyd...
The girls are great in it. Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig -- what a wonderful, wonderful players they are -- and Leslie Jones. I was really happy with the movie, but it cost too much. And Sony does not like to lose money. It made a lot of money around the world but just cost too much, making it economically not feasible to do another one. So that's too bad -- the director, he spent too much on it. He didn't shoot scenes we suggested to him and several scenes that were going to be needed and he said "nah, we don't need them". Then we tested the movie and they needed them and he had to go back. About $30 to $40 million in reshoots. So he will not be back on the Sony lot any time soon.
The Ghostbusters reboot ended up grossing $229 million around the world when it was all said and done. While that put the movie well behind the major blockbusters, it was a perfectly respectable total. However, with a production budget of $144 million, and then marketing costs on top of that, that $229 million starts to look a lot smaller. If you look at other films that had similar domestic and worldwide box office numbers, like say The Rock's Central Intelligence, that film came in slightly behind Ghostbusters last year with a box office total of $216 million, but with a budget of only $50 million, it was much more profitable.
The special effects needs of Ghostbusters would clearly make it a more expensive movie to make, but according to Dan Aykroyd's comments on the UK's Sunday Brunch, the major issue is that the film spent something upwards of $30 million on reshoots for scenes that Aykroyd says the producers knew would be needed. If you subtract the low-end estimate from the film's production budget, then you're looking at extra $30 million of revenue for the film, which could very likely spell the difference between success and failure in the eyes of the studio.
While Dan Aykroyd never says the name "Paul Feig" anywhere in his comments, Feig was the director, and as such Aykroyd is blaming him for the fact that the movie was not the success it could have been, thus eliminating any chance the film had to produce sequels. It's odd to see such a straight forward calling out like this, we're much more used to seeing people in the public eye make much more circumspect comments. He says Feig disregarded notes from the producers and that's why costs got out of control. Since Aykroyd was an executive producer on the new Ghostbusters, it's no wonder this would upset him.
Fans of the reboot would surely love to see a sequel, and Dan Aykroyd clearly counts himself among their number. It's too bad that the money is the reason we likely won't see another, but at the end of the day, Hollywood is a business.