Can the Ghostbusters Franchise Be Saved by Blumhouse?
A lot has been said about Sony's recent all-female Ghostbusters reboot. Honestly, it has been talked to death. In the end, the movie wasn't the childhood killing atrocity that many thought it would be after the trailers first hit the web. But it was also far from a triumph and not worthy of the namesake. So how does Sony save the Ghostbusters franchise from indefinite dormancy, or at best mediocrity? How about...Let Blumhouse take a crack at it?
Sony really wanted to turn Ghostbusters into a big franchise, but according to Box Office Mojo, the movie only managed to bring in $229 million worldwide. For your standard comedy with a few special effects peppered in, that would be pretty damn great. The problem? Paul Feig's version of Ghostbusters came with a $144 million price tag. That is where Blumhouse comes in.
If you don't know, Blumhouse is a production company who has had tremendous success making genre movies in recent years. Their model centers on making movies with very small budgets so that they aren't dependent on outlandish box office results to turn a profit. A decent chunk of those movies, like Sinister, The Purge franchise or Paranormal Activity and many others, go on to become seriously huge hits and generate a massive profit. Not only that, but the movies listed, by many accounts, were of a pretty reasonable quality and not just stop-gap genre garbage. Their model really works and the company knows what they are doing. So, why not give them a crack at Ghostbusters?
It is perfectly reasonable to hear a proposal like this and think "NO!" But really think about it. The Ghostbusters franchise is in a bad place. Sony can't risk putting up another huge budget for another movie with the return they got from the first one and more importantly, what do they do with it after the PR nightmare from the first one? Granted, the movie has as 73 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but way more importantly, it only has a 55 percent audience rating. That is not nearly enough to carry such a beloved property forward. So at this point, there is really nothing to lose and everything to gain. Blumhouse has proven that they can give a talented filmmaker with a good idea enough resources to make their movie with minimal interaction. Why not do this with Ghostbusters?
Part of the problem with Sony's recent Ghostbusters had to do with expectations. For one, because the original is so beloved, there is already an insanely high bar to hit. Second, when you stack the cast with well-known and generally loved comedy talent like Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones under the direction of Paul Feig, the bar is even higher. The nature of doing a new Ghostbusters movie with Blumhouse sort of fixes those problems inherently. For one, with a smaller budget the studio would mostly wind up going after unknown or up-and-coming talent, as opposed to big, trendy names. Second, because the last one flopped so poorly in the eyes of the public, expectations are dreadfully low. The movie could simply be good and everyone would call it a home run, as opposed to what happened with Sony where unless the movie was nearly flawless, it was going to get ripped apart.
Jason Blum and his crew at Blumhouse have proven time and time again that they know what they're doing. Just look at what they did with their own franchise Ouija recently. The first one made money but wasn't very well-liked. So, they made a sequel but let a promising director do what he wanted with the franchise and what do ya know? Ouija: Origin of Evil is sitting at 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and making the studio money. Not only that, but movies like Ouija, despite their flaws, showcase some great practical effects, which is another thing Blumhouse could implement in their version of Ghostbusters to make it feel more in the spirit of the original.
The fact of the matter is that Sony is going to attempt to do something with the Ghostbusters sequel at some point and they probably aren't going to wait all that long to do so. Hollywood doesn't really ever learn lessons. So, why not cut a deal with Blumhouse, let them deal with it and collect potentially pretty good profits with minimal risk? Sony recently did something similar with Spider-Man by finally letting Marvel Studios handle the character, because they have a proven track record in the superhero arena. Blumhouse has an equally impressive track record in their respective lane, so if there is anyone who could save Ghostbusters at this point, it is Jason Blum and his Blumhouse gang. Or perhaps this really is one of those untouchable properties. Either way, Sony should stop now.