Sony's 2016 Ghostbusters reboot was marred by controversy — mostly surrounding its decision to replace Venkman, Stantz, Zeddemore and Spengler with an all-woman team comprised of comedians Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon — and arrived to a mixed-to-positive response from critics and a tepid response from audiences, grossing just $229 million worldwide on a $144 million budget.
More than a year after the newest cinematic iteration of Ghostbuster failed to scare up much success at the 2016 summer box office, co-writer and director Paul Feig said the movie turned into a "cause" — and it hampered the movie's success.
“I think it kind of hampered us a little bit because the movie became so much of a cause," Feig told Vulture. "I think for some of our audience, they were like, ‘What the f–k? We don’t wanna go to a cause. We just wanna watch a f—kin’ movie.'"
“It was a great regret in my life that the movie didn’t do better, ’cause I really loved it,” Feig added. “It’s not a perfect movie. None of my movies are perfect. I liked what we were doing with it. It was only supposed to be there to entertain people.”
Feig came under fire earlier this year by Ghostbusters producer Dan Aykroyd, who called the director out for spending too much and not shooting required scenes. Aykroyd said Feig "will not be back on the Sony lot any time soon," and the costly production — and subsequent poor returns — makes a Ghostbusters sequel unlikely.
Still, Ghostbusters won several prizes at the Kids' Choice Awards in March, where it took home awards for stars Chris Hemsworth and Melissa McCarthy.
Ghostbusters took home the orange blimp award for "Favorite Movie," beating out Captain America: Civil War, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Pete's Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Rogue One.
According to Feig, “The teens are just watching it, not bringing all the baggage."