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Lady Ghostbusters’ Revenge? Reboot Ices Out ‘Frozen Empire’

Woke 2016 film fared better at box office ... does public crave more 'Ghostbusters' films?

The 2016 “Ghostbusters” reboot unofficially kicked off Hollywood’s woke makeover.

The industry already had the far-Left movement in mind before the film’s release, but the battles around the gender-swapped reboot crystalized the Culture War fight.

GHOSTBUSTERS - Official Trailer (HD)

The press rallied behind the film as a feminist victory, sight unseen. Consumers torched the film’s first trailer in epic fashion, which the far-Left Washington Post blamed on misogyny. The film’s stars rallied behind Hillary Clinton on “Ellen,” embracing the reboot’s female empowerment angle.

Critics, according to Richard Roeper, graded the movie on a curve.

And then Sony lost roughly $70 million when the film didn’t crush the box office competition. Are the so-called Lady Ghostbusters having the last laugh?


The rebooted franchise seemed to right the saga’s ship in 2021. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” reunited the surviving cast members from the 1984 original and earned enough fan love to revive the series.

Except the numbers didn’t add all the way up.

“Afterlife” earned $129 million at the U.S. box office, one million more than the 2016 version. The film hit theaters mid-pandemic, which made those figures more palatable. Plus, Sony reduced the new film’s budget so it didn’t need to make a fortune to earn a profit.

The 2016 film’s bloated budget ($144 million) gave Sony headaches. So did fan indifference to the finished product.

Yet the newest “Ghostbusters” film is hardly a smash.


Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” is almost out of gas. The film has earned $107 million after six weeks of release, and with a $3 million tally over the weekend that number won’t rise much higher. That’s significantly lower than the last two films, and the pandemic remains in the rearview mirror.

You can’t blame the middling results on a lack of nostalgia.

The newest film also features the old guard, but this time in expanded roles. Plus, the film’s release date got pushed ahead due to 2023’s Hollywood strikes, which could have created a greater sense of anticipation.

Release delays worked wonders for both “Dune: Part II” and “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Looking back, the 2016 version is the top money grosser of the trio – $229 million worldwide.

Few are clamoring for the film’s actresses to return to the franchise. The last two films didn’t bother to include them in cameos.

The bigger issue remains.

Does the public at large still care about the franchise? Maybe the indifferent response to the 2016 film is partly due to franchise fatigue.

It’s worth noting that 1989’s “Ghostbusters II” remains a clunker. So we have one iconic film lifting up a series that’s no longer a cash cow by any stretch.


  1. Absolutely not

    There is no revenge of the ladies Ghostbusters when you compare that film to these other two films have something a little more than the public wants then I woke Ghostbusters.

    Frozen Empire was a decent entry that could’ve used a few more laughs, but I’ll still take that heads up above the remake by Paul Feig anyday.

    There was one little word that trouts Ghostbusters, and that was Godzilla versus Kong. The movie has had some legs, but before that I think it would’ve done better, but who knows

    I would much rather watch Empire even, Ghostbusters 2 for that mattet

  2. When I was working in a record store in the ’80s, I waited on Sigourney Weaver. She was buying country music cassettes, maybe for a role, because as I was writing up the receipt, she asked me, “Could you please put down ‘country'”? I said, “Okay. I think country music sucks. How’s that?” She gave me an odd look, then cracked up laughing, put her hand on my arm and said, “You’re too fast for me.”

    Several years later, I’m watching “Ghostbusters II.” Sigourney asks Bill Murray to put down the baby, and he insults the baby. I’ve wondered ever since if that was just coincidence. For that reason, if no other, I will always defend “Ghostbusters II.”

  3. “It’s worth noting that 1989’s “Ghostbusters II” remains a clunker.”
    I liked GB2! Same cast, same jokes style, expanded storyline..
    Not constant re-hash of fan candy nostalgia cut scenes (after 40 years they kept the candy bar wrapper in his jumpsuit pocket? really?).
    I’ll take GB2 over anything that came after it!
    Watch it again now, I’m sure you will laugh and enjoy it..!

  4. Hollywood’s social goals are more important than profits. Do they just have so much money to burn?

  5. You could hit “Hollywood” upside the head and they wouldn’t learn. WE DON’t WANT THIS CRAP!

  6. Just watched Frozen Empire with my teen daughter. I think a key component missing in any criticism of this movie is the relationship with the teen Spangler girl and the teen girl ghost. Because of our culture nowadays, you are left with the impression there is some kind of subtle Rainbow Jihad statement being made. Whereas in past years, you’d just simply look at it as a teen girl wanting a friend. It didn’t help that the nerdy teen Spangler girl looked like she could be a member of said Rainbow Jihad.

    My teen daughter picked up on this right away and found that character very annoying. This may be an overlooked aspect of why families passed on this movie in addition to the franchise burnout.

  7. The original Ghostbusters starred four men and had some nods to sexuality. No one wants kids and moms in movies like this. The equation is very simple. A team of men fight ghosts. What’s so hard about that?

  8. I, too, was baffled by the praise for the first reboot. Took every bit of patience I had to sit through the whole thing. I kept thinking that, based on the reviews, it’s going to get better. Sooner or later.
    Nope. Never did.

    1. Totally agree, that was a chore to pay attention to. I have no desire to do it again. We got one classic, a rushed sequel, and 3 wastes of time and money.

  9. One great, iconic movie. I know Hollywood can’t help it, but just let it be. Frozen showed there’s not much interest. They took out the adult humor and turned it into a kid’s movie. Just like what Afterlife was.

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