Could the Ghostbusters remake be the most scrutinized movie of the upcoming summer season? Paul Feig’s all-female reboot of the 1984 classic has been under the most powerful of microscopes since the project was first announced at the end of 2014 — and the attention hasn’t abated. From casting comedic actresses Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones to play the lead characters, to hiring Chris Hemsworth as the group’s assistant, to placement of original cast members in cameo roles (unrelated to the characters they played in the first two films), to the scene-by-scene dissection of the first trailer, almost everything related to the film has been picked apart by commenters.
The question is whether or not all the attention will benefit or hinder the movie’s performance?
Set to open on July 15, Ghostbusters has been heralded as both the most-anticipated and the most-hated movie of the summer season. According to a Fandango poll released Monday, moviegoers selected the Sony release as their most anticipated summer comedy. (Captain America: Civil War and Finding Dory are the most anticipated action and family film, respectively.) That positive news offsets the report from last week that the film’s first trailer is the most hated in YouTube history, with 507,610 dislikes. (Reality check: 27 million people watched the trailer which puts the 500,000 at less than 2 percent of viewers.)
Neither of these polls feature accurate samplings of the movie-going population. But it’s likely Feig and Sony, the studio behind the upcoming film, are probably placing more merit on the Fandango poll, which analyzes a sampling of frequent moviegoers, than YouTube’s most hated list, which likely reflects that portion of Ghostbuster fandom that’s hated the idea of messing with Dr. Peter Venkman from the moment it was revealed star Bill Murray would not reprise his role.
Regardless, Feig has been busy putting the finishing touches on the film for months now, conducting test screenings and other last-minute additions, including a scheduled day-and-a-half of reshoots in downtown Los Angeles that concluded Monday morning with his four leading ladies. As to his thoughts about the negative reaction to the trailer? When asked last month, he said, “The reason I do comedy and not drama is because I want people to have a great time, to laugh and be happy. It’s great that this has become such a religion for everybody but at the same time these movies exist to make people laugh. It’s what Ivan [Reitman, director of the original Ghostbusters] was trying to do 30 years ago and it’s what we’re trying to do now.”