If nothing else, the upcoming arrival of the new Ghostbusters film has done an excellent job at dividing the 32-year old franchise’s fanbase. Anyone who hasn’t heard of the tremendous controversy resulting from the new Ghostbusters being made up of four women clearly hasn’t been paying attention.
While debate has raged on ever since Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters cast Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the famed supernatural exterminators, refrains of ruined childhoods have been largely ineffective in changing anything at all. Sure, the reboot’s trailer was pronounced the most disliked trailer in the history of YouTube, but as loud as the haters seem to shout, the team behind Ghostbusters appears generally unfazed.
In fact, in a recent interview with the chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Tom Rothman, THR learned that not only has the hate Ghostbusters received been ineffective in derailing the film’s popularity, but just the opposite. When asked his opinion about the effect of negative online publicity from those opposed to the reboot, Rothman had this to say:
It"’s the greatest thing that ever happened. Are you kidding me? We’re in the national debate, thank you. Can we please get some more haters to say stupid things?"
Given Rothman’s confidence for the film despite the backlash, the Sony exec was then asked what Ghostbusters would have to make (in terms of box office revenue) for the film to be a hit. His response?
"Oh, I don't know. I don't comment about that."
After declining to comment, Rothman proceeded to expand on the heightened level of excitement and momentum in the lead up to Ghostbusters' upcoming July release.
"The good news is, you can feel the momentum of the movie. We had a thing last week where Bill Murray, who had just seen the movie, came out and said how great it was. You just could feel the cultural excitement."
There has been praise coming from the surviving original Ghostbusters squad, as seen most recently when both the 1984 Ghostbusters and the 2016 Ghostbusters appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. In addition to this, the franchises’ creator, Dan Aykroyd, gave the film a glowing review after he caught an advance screening of it. There’s certainly been more than enough praise for Ghostbusters and its cast over the course of the past few weeks.
But of course, those who want to hate the film will continue to hate it regardless of what sort of advance praise it gets (or, apparently, what the original cast claim to think of it). Many of these people have insisted on boycotting the film, so there really is no chance their minds will be changed, whether Ghostbusters is a hit or not.
Despite the sense that Tom Rothman’s comments may make to many, hype and momentum – either positive or negative – can only do so much for the film. In the end, it is only Ghostbusters' quality as a sci-fi comedy that will truly determine where it stands in terms of both box office and critical success.
Ghostbusters arrives in US theaters on July 15, 2016.