Dan Aykroyd Blames Budget and Director For Ghostbusters Reboot Failure
When Sony asked Paul Feig to handle their long-gestating Ghostbusters reboot, it was with the sole intent of launching a new franchise. Even if the casting choices seemed to upset some corners of the internet, the new Ghostbusters had a lot going for it. A great female lineup, the blessing of the original cast, and Feig was riding high after Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy. What could go wrong? Well, according to Dan Aykroyd, the main problem was an out of control budget, expensive reshoots, and a director unwilling to collaborate.
"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."
To be fair, I don't think any studio likes to lose money on a movie, but few studios have endured the difficulties that Sony's film division has had to put up with over the last few years. Sony Pictures recently reported losses of $719 million for 2016, but hope arrives in the form of this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Aykroyd had been overwhelmingly positive about Ghostbusters during the run-up to release, and he even had a brief cameo as did original stars Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver. While it doesn't sound as though Aykroyd disliked the finished product, I think he's unhappy that Feig didn't take his advice that may have prevented such costly reshoots. Additional filming is a part of all big studio movies, but spending $30-$40 million suggests huge portions of the movie got reworked instead to the usual pick-ups and tweaks.
From a purely budget perspective, it's hard not to agree with Aykroyd as Ghostbusters cost a whopping $144 million to make. Any film with a budget that large needs to be aiming for a global haul of $500 million to be considered a success, sadly Ghostbusters could only muster $229 million. Despite the shortcomings of the reboot, an animated Ghostbusters is in development and could be in cinemas sometime in 2019.