Serving as a continuation of the original two Ghostbusters movies, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is essentially a story that has been 32 years in the making, with its preview night numbers confirming that the film has taken in $4.5 million, per Deadline. Heading into the weekend, estimates were putting the film on scoring an opening weekend in the high $20-million range, with these numbers possibly hinting that the film could take in more than $35 million. The last film in the series, the 2016 reboot Ghostbusters, took in $3.5 million on Thursday night on the way to an opening weekend of $46 million.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes calculates that 74% of the 2016 Ghostbusters' reviews were positive, while Afterlife sits at 62% positive. Despite its predecessor scoring higher with critics, it seems as though fans were more excited by how this new film tied into the original legacy, which includes appearances by original stars reprising their roles.
From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan.
While the previous film served as an attempt to revive the concept for a new generation, Afterlife similarly attempts to ignite excitement in fans who might not be familiar with the source material, but does so by including younger characters who stumble upon the legacy of the Ghostbusters.
Co-writer Kenan previously detailed that responsibility not only of honoring what came before Afterlife, but also offering an entirely new audience their own generation of heroes.
"As ever, when you're talking about a big film like that that has so many secrets up its sleeve, I've got to be extremely careful when talking about it," Kenan shared with the Just The Facts with Alex Zane podcast earlier this year. "But I will say, from what we've been able to put out there, the important thing is communicating what is earnestly at the center of all this: which is us as writers, as storytellers, Jason and I, keeping the flame lit."
He continued, "The flame that sparked for us -- never mind the weight of proximity to the source of the Ghostbusters legend -- for both of us as audience members, as pure audience members who were moved and were changed by seeing Ghostbusters. That lit a flame in both of us that we felt like we could keep lit for the people who, like us, shared it as young audience members and a new generation of audiences that could feel that same scope of thrills, terror, wonder, comedy, movie magic. So hopefully all of that stuff lives on in our film."
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in theaters now.
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