Industry NewsOpinionMovie News

How ‘Ghostbusters’ Exposed Blatant Media Bias

If that comes as a surprise to you, don’t feel ashamed. You’ve probably been reading press accounts about the film for the past few weeks.

Media bias thrives in both news and entertainment coverage.

The reboot became a cause celebre with journalists. They saw it as a chance for a female-led franchise to reverse decades of Hollywood sexism. They ignored past successes like “The Hunger Games” and “Alien” in their quest for equality.

And they weren’t going to let the truth stand in the way.

GHOSTBUSTERS - Official Trailer (HD)

Here’s a dash of reality:

As of Aug. 7, Ghostbusters had earned just under $180 million at the global box office, including $117 million domestic. The film still hasn’t opened in a few markets, including France, Japan and Mexico, but box-office experts say it will have trouble getting to $225 million despite a hefty net production budget of $144 million plus a big marketing spend. The studio has said break-even would be $300 million.

The $70 million figure won’t shock anyone following the film’s box office trajectory. Math isn’t tough, despite what a toy once told us.

Media Bias in Real Time

The news still deflates a press narrative that has been building ever since the film project began.

That Trailer Is Great, Really

Critics Love the Movie

Toys Sales Are Soaring

It’s Not a Flop

A Sequel Is on the Way

“Ghostbusters” is a mediocre attempt to bring a dormant brand back to life. It’s far better at illuminating the entrenched media bias in entertainment reporting.

The press originally insisted that anyone sour on the reboot, or the notion of swapping the four characters’ gender, were haters. Sexists.

RELATED: Is Gender Card ‘Ghostbusters’ Only Hope?

Then, some reviewers bent over backward to applaud the film, injecting overt bias into their coverage. Take that, Neanderthal males, they cried from their laptop computers.

Later, some media outlets argued against reason that the film was “not a flop.”

Variety published an exclusive saying the film’s toy sales were “exceeding expectations,” according to Mattel. Did the story have any raw numbers? Did it compare “Ghostbusters” toy sales to previous movie-related merchandise? Did the reporter cast an ounce of skepticism over the claims?

No, no and no.

The story did include this press release style quote from the toy company, complete with an exclamation mark.

The early momentum shows the product is resonating with ‘Ghostbusters’ fans!”

Other media outlets, eager to prop up the film, shared the story with alacrity. Meanwhile, Target started marking down “Ghostbusters” toys before the film even opened.

And now reality hits.

Ignore Those Box Office Receipts

The modest box office returns didn’t dissuade reporters from sharing the news that “Ghostbusters” sequels were on the way. Sony said so. It must be true. Never mind that nothing was officially greenlit, or that it made no sense to approve sequels when the current box office returns were murky at best.

Reporters uncritically shared Sony spin. All to boost the notion that the film was a hit.

Now, THR is reporting some animated “Ghostbusters” spin-offs are in the works, but no news of an official sequel. The “Ghostbusters” brand may be back from the grave, but the film leading the way will cost Sony. Plenty.

None of this means that Hollywood sexism isn’t real. Just watch the eye-opening documentary “That Gal Who Was in That Thing” and see what actresses face in the industry.

It won’t be fixed by a single film or franchise featuring powerful actresses. Studios should consider future movies led by women, assuming the scripts are solid and the talent is first-rate. As should be the case with any movie project.

What’s undeniably real, too, is entertainment media bias.

UPDATE: Want examples of active media cheerleading on behalf of the film? Look no further than Forbes.com:

It breaks my heart to say this, but Ghostbusters is pretty much a bomb.

Or consider Vanity Fair:

It’s been difficult to watch Ghostbusters flail. Although reviewers found themselves divided as to the film’s quality, many still came down on its side—and it’s worrisome to think that Hollywood might take its performance as an omen against female-led movies more generally, particularly action franchises.

Show More

89 Comments

  1. Honestly, I hope they do make a sequel, and with a bigger budget. Imagine how much more money they’ll lose. Maybe if they lose another $500 million on attempting the world’s first SJW movie franchise, they’ll finally get it through their thick skulls that audiences don’t want their garbage gender politics jammed down our throats.

    1. Just wait for Ocean’s 8 with an all chick cast. I’m anxious to see details… in a can’t look away from the trainwreck kind of way.

        1. No, it’s a nod to the Soderbergh films — Oceans 11, 12, and 13. So they start with Oceans 8, then 9, then 10, and then you get the box set.

      1. Yeps! oh, and by the way.., James Bond is going to be female, as well.
        Are you as over joyed as I am?

        (Disclaimer: Erika is NOT over joyed by this)

      2. Ocean’s 8 actually can work, just so long as they take it seriously and don’t attempt to pimp the narrative. It works within the framework of the universe. So long as they accept that and build on it, it will be fine. In much the same way that oft talked about all female Expenables variant could work.

        Ghostbusters failed not because it was all girls. It failed because firstly they refused to respect the property and universe that was already created, and secondly they did not understand that “gender flipping” requires more than simply swapping out actors. That many of the scenes and tropes from the original worked because they were in fact subtly gender specific. For example the Ecto-1 and the Firehouse were a reflection and communication of Ray as the eternal man child. A Peter Pan like soul who still wishes to play with his toys. They informed the character. They make no sense with the new cast, inform nothing, and add to the feeling of bad cut and paste.

    2. I share your sentiment’s, but you overestimate the Progs ability to self assess. Failures are always someone else’s fault. The doubling down scenario you described is right up their alley though. Not too bright, are they?

    3. Funny thing is, even for the hardcore SJW crowd, the movie was a turd:
      – only one open lesbian character
      – only one non-white Buster, and she’s the only one without a scientific degree
      – no trans, bi, fluidgender or nonsexual persons
      For some folks it’s just never enough, cartering to them is like trying to hit a goal with (fast) moving posts.
      Sadly, because GB’16 had some nice ideas, but failed miserably in sp many ways.

      1. Don’t forget the fact that the movie DARED to have ANY male characters, at all! I’m sure that really pisses them off! (^_^)
        of course, generally speaking.., when AREN’T they pissed off about something?

    1. Yes, same thing, SJW’s take over a popular franchise, fill it with feminist politics, ignoring what made it ppular in the first place, call the fans who object sexist cretins, and are then shocked that the primarily male fans dont like it.

      1. Yeps! Same id happening in Comics, as well, now.

        Ooh! by the way, if anyone’s interested in fighting SJW and Feminist takeover of the comic book industry, here’s a link for ya!

        #comicstand

    2. Coming up to the two year anniversary of GamerGate, August 28th was the day the 10+ “Gamers are Dead” articles dropped on the same day.

      One of the most notable being from Leigh Alexander

      “‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over.” – http://archive.is/Awcw9

      The author of that article coincidentally doesn’t work for Gamasutra anymore and failed to manage a Buzzfeed blog after and now she’s a nobody people go out of their way to avoid.

      You’d think other “journalist” would have learned their lesson. If you bite the hands that feed you, you’re going to eventually starve.

  2. I expect this reboot to go through the sort of over-rating that has happened to many movies that were flops on initial release (e.g. Starship Troopers, Big Liebowski, Fight Club, every post-Halloween John Carpenter movie). There’s a weird mentality among some movie goers that if a movie is a flop, it’s because the masses were too stupid to get it, and that they are now obliged to elevate its reputation, no matter what.

    1. Starship Troopers wasn’t just a flop, it was a deliberate act of artistic vandalism. The director publically admitted he wanted to invert everything the original novel stood for, and succeeded. As a standalone action movie it was adequate but forgettable, but as an insult to the memory of Robert Heinlein it will live forever in infamy.

      1. Verhoeven is pretty much a one-trick pony. Most of what he’s done is forgettable, or has become a meme for “bad action movie”. But, that tends to happen when you pat yourself on the back for being the Smartest Guy In The Room.

        1. The reason you think it’s a meme for “bad action movie” is because you were expecting glorification while he gave you parody.

        1. About Starship Troopers: In the book the military is in power, as you can see in the film ‘Service guarantees citizenship’, basically it’s a work of science fiction that makes the military seem awesome – glorification of fascism.

          Now in the film this aspect is mocked, you basically get canon fodder thinking they are the elite, while they get blown up or chopped up into pieces.

          If you didn’t know about the book you just saw a cheesy action flick, with some parody ads in it, a bit like Robocop – in which the latest tech malfunctions and kill a board member. The effects were decent and you had a great time.

          If you are someone that has read the book before going in, expecting to see awesome killing machine soldiers that make the world proud etc you are in for a train-wreck if you agreed with the book and a complete parody anthem if you disagreed with it.

          Obviously this tactic will have the audience split, especially in the US and a cult classic of a movie in your hands.

          1. Did you even read the book? In the book the military is not even allowed the vote until after they leave service.

          2. I don’t think you understood the book. Heinlein was mocking the idea of the all-powerful state. He was attacking one of the key ideas of national socialism: the worship of the government and the idea that individualism and thinking thoughts that are not pre-approved is evil.

            The incomprehensible evil bugs are an obvious substitute symbol for the enemy the left always needs.

            It might help if you were to read some of Heinlein’s other books many of which are not satirical and tell you perhaps more clearly where the author is coming from.

            Verhoeven is just left-wing. The kind of person that would have been an enthusiastic Nazi as indeed many if not most of the left were in the 1930s. Verhoeven knows enough to understand he’s being mocked and thus his hatred of the author.

          3. ” In the book the military is in power”.

            In the book, soldiers can’t vote. Only those who have been discharged honorably can vote, and “Federal Service” is not necessarily military.

            But aside from getting _everything_ wrong, you missed the basic theme, which is also the basic theme of STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND: taking responsibility for your society.

            Any more wisdom to share?

          4. Like Inglorious Basterds, the film is a parody of Nazi War Propaganda. In a sense, it’s a comedy.

      2. Exactly. I utterly despise not just the movie, but how it dragged Heinlein’s reputation as a writer and human being through the mud.

    2. Big Lebowski and Fight Club were both excellent movies, and that is why they are still talked about. Why you mention Starship Troopers, is a mystery to me. And no, ten years from now, Ghostbusters II will be completely forgotten.

      1. A movie can be both excellent and overrated, and Starship Troopers has been ridiculously overrated ever since the director and screenwriter said “hey, it’s just satire.”

    3. If you can’t see the brilliance of fight club I feel sorry for you. The movie bombed for mainly two reasons: it ended up m-rated and the 3 stars suddenly asked for their full salary, while they had agreed to a smaller rate. (one of them did and the others followed because…)

      Suddenly a small movie, becomes this huge thing that you can’t possibly support because there isn’t enough budget to market the behemoth anywhere near enough what it would need.

    1. Actually, McCarthy was a corrupt, drunken opportunist. He first made the national scene defending the SS men who massacred US troops at Malmedy, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. He thought it might play well with the German-Americans in Wisconsin. He later decided that anti-communism had more legs. His legacy has been far more valuable to the liberal narrative than to those who truly love liberty. So, please do not exhume that rotting corpse.

      1. McCarthy has been proven right. Hiss was a communist spy and newer records today show the soviets HAD infected our Government. It was much worse than McCarthy thought. After the campaign to destroy him he did become a drunk, a sad end.

        1. McCarthy was wrong about more things than he was right. He made indesciminent and false accusations about many essentially innocent people because he did not care about the truth, only staying in the limelight. There were vast numbers of principled anti-communists. For instance major figures in the labor leadership hated the communists like poison. Holding up a corrupt buffoon like McCarthy as an icon of anti-communism does them all a vast disservice. For the hard left, he has been the gift that keeps on giving. And, the response elides over his start defending nazi war criminals who murdered unarmed US POWs. Was he proved right about that?

    1. I think it’s worth noting that Harry Potter was written by J K Rowling, a woman.

      J K Rowling never tried to be politically correct. In fact, significant parts of her novels are a warning against political correctness.

      J K Rowling never tried to capitalize on whatever trend there is or was in favor of female writers. She hid her sex because she didn’t think most readers would think her subject matter was likely to be done well by a woman.

      J K Rowling never let anything get between her and a great story.

      These are major reasons why J K Rowling is a rousing success and most of us are, well, not.

      1. IMO presenting characters to children like Dolores Humbridge and the minister of magic does more for democracy than the whole body of work from journalism in the last decade.

        Journalism sucks this days, again IMO.

        I’m not a fan of all she says or do, but in her top of influence she target the most dangerous people and I wont forget that.

  3. Who could have predicted that insulting most of your target demographic before opening day wasn’t an effective marketing strategy?

  4. I haven’t seen the movie nor do I intend to see it. I will grant them one thing, however: any success the movie has, no matter how small, will exceed my expectations.

  5. Here’s a crazy idea for Sony: Make Ghostbusters III.

    Ghostbusters 2016 can then be the theatrical equivalent of New Coke.

  6. It has nothing to do with male or female leads. It has everything to do with deliberately and overtly pandering to feminists and SJW crowds and “girl power” sexist bullshit.

    We don’t care about your political agenda, we just want to watch a film that put making a really great movie first, not one which had as it’s primary concern that women were the leads and men were the secretaries. Normal people don’t want to be part of the bra-burning feminazi virtue signaling.

    Normal people just want to see a good movie. I am glad Sony is going to lose all this money and I hope it teaches other studios to quit with the feminist and other SJW crap. We don’t want it.

    1. Yes, plenty of other female led action movies did OK, like Lara Croft, Hunger Games, Twilight, Kill Bill, and Alien. The problem here is they let feminist SJW considerations outweigh having a good script, with good characters, that the fans of the franchise liked. That and telling the fans they were all cretins because they were complaining did not help.

    2. It seems like you are blindly accepting a political spin on this movie when, if you watch it, it’s exactly like you describe: “a film that put making a really great movie first, not one which had as it’s primary concern that women were the leads and men were the secretaries” It’s a very normal film that never draws significant attention to the fact that all the ghostbusters are women. In analysis, people have tried to say that it’s “feminist” or “PC,” but the actual movie isn’t overtly either of those things. Sure, it’s not a 10/10 comedy gold that became an instant classic, but it had funny jokes and great action scenes, so if people pulled the sticks out of their asses and gave it a chance, maybe they wouldn’t be blinded by the fake “PC”/”Non-PC” debate. It’s just a movie with women in it–get over it. If your problem is with people heralding a movie for having women as “feminist and SJW” then say that honestly.

      1. Yeah, I’m sure a movie where they zapped the main female baddy in the private area to defeat it would go over really well…

        1. EXACTLY!!
          If I were a man, I would be SICK TO DEATH of the “Shot-To-The-Balls” cliche/trope.
          Hell, I’m female and even I’M sick of that “Shot-To-The-Balls” cliche/trope!!
          If this type of genital-sexual-assault was done constantly to female characters, as it is to male characters, Hollywood would be burned to the ground, over night.
          If you wouldn’t do it to a WOMAN then DON’T DO IT TO A MAN, EITHER! How hard is that to understand..?

          I’ve included a “Female-Trope” Feminists complain about all the time, to help illustrate my point.

          (Personally… I LIKE being bound & gagged…!) LOLZ! (~_^)

          1. I’d spank you. I’m a kinky penguin 🙂
            Anyway, and as to your opinion, I mostly agree. There’s ROOM for the occasional joke or fight scene where it happens, but it’s overused, and the double standard IS disgusting.

          2. Lolz! (^_^) Yeps, I’m up for a bit of spanking, as well!

            Well, I might agree that there’s room for the occasional joke or fight scene where it happens, IF it was not done exclusively to male characters. Frankly, I wish they’d just not do it to anyone, but if they HAVE to do it, at least be consistent. As a female who has been (accidentally) kicked in the vag, a few times, I can tell you that we go down, writhing in pain, too.

  7. They probably think making articles saying there won’t be sequel will urge the SJW’s to go out and buy 10 more tickets each and throw the lifeless body of Ghostbusters (2016) over the 300 mil mark.

  8. Vanity Fair?

    “Hollywood might take its performance as an omen against female-led movies more generally, particularly action franchises.”

    It’s quite mystifying how anyone who knows anything about movies could write such things, and (presumably) to be paid to write such things. It’s not as if there are any recent examples of success in this area (Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow, Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games).

    I go to see action movies to be entertained, not to have my butt social justice warriored.

    1. They should take it as an omen against godawful movies with nonsensical script and random non-characters without progress.
      Against reboots that, in their holy mission for ..something.. fail to see what made the original outstanding.

  9. When people talk about movies with strong female leads, why everyone forgets Kill Bill? Both parts? Or is Tarantino just a no no thing for feminists?

      1. Agreed. Producers at Sony (and those like them) spend more time looking at flowcharts and bar graphs for gender demographics and target audiences than actually looking at a coherent script with good characters. As per usual in Hollywood, the story is given the least amount of consideration (although it literally is the foundation of the film).

    1. Underworld, Resident Evil etc etc, The terrible question that is being avoided by the feminist crowd is “If female lead films do fine, Why don’t Feminist films do as well?”

  10. ” it’s worrisome to think that Hollywood might take its performance as an omen against female-led movies ”
    .
    What’s ironic is that the SJWs think that it was the all female lead that sank this. Liberals are always determined to learn exactly the wrong things from reality.

  11. I find it highly amusing that the SJWs were all in a huff about people disliking the switch to female leads, but nary a word on the fact that the three white leads are the scientists and the black lead is the subway worker.

  12. Why are they just incapable of writing original female-led franchises?

    While they’re desperate to just ride on the success of male-led franchises, they’ll continue to fail. People don’t want crappy gender swaps on their beloved memories.

  13. As of today Ghostbusters has made $181,513,623, not counting toy sales or any thing other than box office numbers. It’s production costs were $144,000,000. They have made about $40,000,000 on the movie in just a few weeks.

    To put the opening week numbers in perspective, Star Trek Beyond had a cost of $189,000,000. In its first week it made $59.6 million and was called a hit. That is a 30% return in the first weekend.

    Ghostbusters made $46,000,000 the first week of a $144,000,000 budget. That is a 32% return in the first week.

    Not only did it make money – unlike this article suggested – it made
    more money than what everyone considered a hit when compared this way.

    Not a flop, not even close.

    But hey, why let things like facts get in the way when you can have sexism and non-sense to get you through the day.

    .

    1. If Sony wants to make another one, they can, that’s freedom of expression and we’re all for it. But the same rules will apply-
      name calling didn’t force me to watch the first one, and it won’t make me watch a sequel either

  14. Reading some of these articles has been hilarious and yet disturbing at the same time. Hilarious in how idiotic they are but disturbing in that it seems some of these outlets think they can just create their own narrative and blow a bunch sunshine up people’s butts. The best are the ones that pretend like all a film has to do in order to be a success is for the gross to exceed the production budget. Forget that theaters/distributors get about half the gross, that Sony spent a fortune (reportedly over 100 million) in advertising, or the idea that Paul Feig himself said the film would need to make 500 million in order to be successful. I’m not sure if they’re just ignorant of all of this (though you’d think they’d do a little research before writing an article declaring the film a success) or if they really are just trying to create their own narrative.

  15. I’ve got a great idea, guys.

    Okay, what we’re going to do is we are going to take one of the most beloved 80’s hits of all time, okay? One with a large, dedicated fanbase that has been anxiously awaiting a sequel for about 20 years now, right? But instead of making a sequel, we are going to completely remake it – only this time, we are going to focus heavily on identity politics rather than making a fun, scifi comedy.

    Oh, and to help market it, we are going to have the director give interviews in which he will denigrate the existing fanbase of the franchise as being nothing more than a steaming heap of subhuman, misogynistic garbage.

    We are going to make some serious bank.

  16. With different actresses and a different director/screenwriter and a lot less grrlpower attitude this might just have worked.
    (Seriously guys, don’t go out of your way to piss of your core audience.)

    Maybe we’ll get a better approach in twenty years, if somebody dares to touch this hot potato again.

  17. I wonder if they will try to remake Animal House, as Animal House gets busted by the diversity committee. They actually did something like that with PCU, except they wisely made the movie sympathetic to the Animal house frat, adn the SJW’s the villains, where these bozos would probably remake it with with a bunch of feminist SJW rants, and try and make the SJW’s the good guys.

  18. The same thing happened with the Fantastic Four reboot. They changed the race of the Human Torch, and spent months before the film’s release calling their own fans racists for objecting to the change. And of course, the film flopped, because insulting your fans is not good business. Sony should have learned from Fox’s mistake, but SJW’s never learn.

  19. It did a good job of enforcing the stereotype that women don’t have any ideas of their own so they just copy whatever men do. The idea that there should be all-female action movies like this is absurd. Why? It makes about as much sense as a romantic comedy where all the characters are transformers. Who’s the audience? I don’t really know chic movies too much but I have no interest in seeing an all dude remake of fried green tomatoes or something.

  20. Well.., first off the bat… When you make a film targeted to a particular demographic (In this case, primarily young men) be sure you don’t constantly denigrate that particular demographic. That is one of the biggest mistakes Paul Fieg and company made. Any one, (particularly men), that criticized the film, was immediately branded a “Misogynist”. Further mistakes were: Shoving the “Girl-Power” narrative down everyone’s throats. (Even we women are fed up of this bollocks). And, when you target a particular demographic, be certain that you do not portray that targeted particular demographic as complete idiots, buffoons and “Evil-Villains”. Every male character in this movie was one or all of the above. Not ONE male character was competent, intelligent or even “Human”.
    …If a film was produced to be targeted at WOMEN, does ANYONE really believe that women would want to see a film where they are depicted as complete idiots, buffoons and “Evil-Villains”, and nothing but..? No. Of course not. So, why does Hollywood believe it is ANY DIFFERENT with men? Particularly Western men, who are beat over the head, endlessly with anti-male messages in the media and society at large.
    Evidently Feig, and the majority of the film, TV and other media are completely blind to these facts. Until they get a CLUE, Hollywood and the rest of the film industry will continue to crank flop after flop after flop. Hopefully.., this “Ghostbusters” fiasco will be a wake-up call to the movie industry, as a whole.
    ….But don’t hold your breath, on that one…!

  21. I think the most telling moment of media bias is when you directly compare the media reviews and commentary of Ghostbusters and Suicide Squad. For both the actual content of the reviews is near identical. The things the critics disliked, the complaints were exactly the same. The things they liked as stated in the body of their reviews were near identical. (Although most seem to find SS funnier.) yet Ghostbusters is rated 75% on Rotten Tomatoes “fresh” and SS is 25%. Hmmmm?

  22. take out the poor acting, poor forced jokes that turn out to more stale then 5 year old bread. movie was ok, but casting really killed a lot of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
Close