“Ghostbusters” and the Specter of Double Standards
Kate Gardner

Hi, first post here.

I have to say, reading your article, that although I agree on some thoughts (and the Perlmutter facts are hideous), I have to point out that the math on the box office is not correct. When you evaluate box office success, you take into account production costs and marketing, and then calculate as gain for the studio the half of the theatrical gross (the other half goes to theaters and distribution). Hence 160 mils for the new GB is very far from the roughy 480 mils needed (144 production + 100 mils marketing, to be subtracted by the half of the gross). Director Feig said that the movie would need 4–500 mils to break even. Granted a movie like this does not need the theatrical net gains to cover all expenses, as merchandise also is a good source of income.

But 160, with a possible closure at 220 mils worldwide, is a disappointment however you see it. All movies you used as comparison gained 220 mils in the US in the very fist week of release, often going beyound 1 bil global. FYI, the drop for Batman v Superman was considered catastrophic, Star Trek Beyond is being currently considered a disappointment as much as GB, and relatively succesful movies such as Amazing Spiderman 2 were considered disappointing and killed the franchise even by grossing 700mils WW. Even a movie like Mad Max Fury Road, hugely succesful with critics, was considered a half flop because it grossed 380 mils worldwide on a 150 mils budget (roughly the same as GB, by the way). The laws of box office, from this point of view, are quite implacable.

All of this has nothing to do with your conclusions about double standards: it’s unfair that similar projects are shut down because one movie is not succesful. But the movie is not being succesful at all, considering the huge budget.

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