Jul 19, 2016

    Ghostbusters dodges brickbats to earn $62m


    PAUL Feig's Ghostbusters reboot has triggered intense debate over its decision to refashion the proton pack-wielding paranormal investigators as an all-female team.

    For some, the movie has been a feminist rallying cry; for others, a pop culture desecration. After all the chatter, Ghostbusters debuted this weekend to a solid US$46 million

    (S$62 million).

    Though it ranks as the best debut for a live-action comedy in over a year,

    the film will have to resonate with foreign audiences to make a profit.

    After all, Sony had shelled out US$144 million to make Ghostbusters and millions more to market the film.

    The new picture, which brings together Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and

    Leslie Jones, is clearly designed to trigger a

    fresh array of sequels.

    Said Josh Greenstein, Sony's marketing and distribution chief: "This is

    a restart of one of our

    most important brands."

    The audience for the film skewed female, with women making up 54 per cent of ticket buyers. It also resonated with older crowds, weaned on the 1984 original and its 1989 sequel,

    as 55 per cent of the audience were over age 25.

    However, Ghostbusters was no match for Illumination and Universal's The Secret Life Of Pets, which dominated the

    box office for a second consecutive weekend, topping all challengers

    with US$50.6 million.

    The look at what dogs, cats and other domesticated critters do when their owners are at work is one of the summer's biggest smashes, having earned US$203.2 million stateside.

    The weekend's other debut, Broad Green's

    The Infiltrator, earned a tepid US$6.7 million in its first five days of release.

    The look at a federal agent's (Bryan Cranston) attempts to infiltrate drug lord Pablo Escobar's inner circle scored with critics.