After a marketing campaign that was a lighting rod for controversy (including the most disliked film trailer in the history of YouTube), Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters is just about to hit the multiplex. The movie opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, July 15, and there are many curious to see how the general public responds to the final product. Key members of the creative team are interested in pursuing possible sequels, but they want to wait until this first one has had its moment in the sun – which is admittedly a smart strategy.

Ghostbusters received some much-needed good news over the weekend when the early reviews leaned towards the positive side of the spectrum. While some pundits feel the remake plays it a bit too safe, it’s still been praised for being an entertaining ride with a great cast. If that word-of-mouth continues throughout the week, it should only provide a boost for its box office prospects, but the paranormal exterminators may still be unable to dethrone a certain collection of pets dominating the marketplace.

According to The WrapGhostbusters could potentially bring in up to $50 million in its first three days, which would be a solid total. If it only manages to surpass the lower end of the expectations (around $38 million), it would still be poised to become the highest-grossing live-action comedy in more than a year. Ghostbusters should have no problems beating the $33.5 million Ted 2 made during its opening weekend in 2015.

ghostbusters 2016 trailers tv spots posters Ghostbusters Projected For $50 Million Opening; May Not Top Box Office

While this is a great development for Sony, they might have to settle for second place. Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets has become an audience favorite since it opened on July 8, posting more than $100 million in its debut. The animated film has acquired a huge following, and the enthusiastic reception will keep demand high. For its second weekend, Pets is pegged to bring in $55 million, a very strong hold. It has an advantage over Ghostbusters, as its PG rating is more family-friendly than the PG-13 classification of Feig’s film. Interest in genre pictures like Ghostbusters is always there in the summer months, but it’s never wise to bet against a children’s movie.

It will arguably be more fascinating to see what kind of legs Ghostbusters has as its run progresses. Later this month, highly-anticipated sequels Star Trek Beyond and Jason Bourne premiere, and both are expected to do just fine commercially. Then, of course, August 5 sees the release of Suicide Squad, which will steal the thunder of every other film playing. Depending on how things shake up, Ghostbusters may have to rely on the international box office to spin its $144 million production budget (which does not include advertising costs) into a nifty profit. Even if audiences respond well to the reboot, Ghostbusters faces stiff competition over the next few weeks.

Nevertheless, Sony can rest easy knowing that the Ghostbusters redux isn’t on pace to become a massive failure. The film has generated so much buzz and attention since it was first announced, that most people will be curious to see what the fuss is all about, forming their own opinion on the matter. Studio chairman Tom Rothman said that the fervent hatred was the “greatest thing that ever happened,” since it turned the project into a “national debate.” As the old saying goes, all publicity is good publicity, and Ghostbusters has never had an awareness problem. Sony believes the possibilities for sequels are endless, but the franchise’s future won’t be determined until the box office figures start rolling in.

NEXT: Paul Feig & Melissa McCarthy Talk Ghostbusters Sequels

Ghostbusters opens in U.S. theaters July 15, 2016.

Source: The Wrap

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