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So how does the opening of the new Ghostbusters compare to the first two films in the long-dormant but beloved franchise?
At $46 million, the verdict is somewhere in the middle, at least when adjusting for inflation. And there’s no chance of the Sony movie, directed by Paul Feig, coming close to matching the lifetime domestic gross of the first Ghostbusters, adjusting or not.
Over the June 8-10 weekend in 1984, director Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters opened to $13.6 million — or $35 million when adjusted for inflation, a strong showing before the era of the mega-summer openings and when movies opened in far fewer theaters but played for much longer.
Ghostbusters quickly transformed into a hit, surpassing Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to become the highest-grossing film of summer 1984 and the No. 2 film of the year behind Beverly Hills Cop with $229.2 million. (Beverly Hills Cop, released in mid-December, earned $234.8 million.)
When adjusting for inflation, Ghostbusters earned $589.7 million at the North American box office, including grosses from when the classic VFX comedy was later rereleased. Put another way, it is considered the most successful comedy of the 1980s.
Ghostbusters II, released on June 16, 1989, opened to far more than the first film, $29.5 million — or, when adjusting for inflation, $64.3 million. But it topped out at notably less, $112.5 million (or $245.4 million when factoring in inflation).
Based on the reboot’s mediocre debut, at least in comparison to its net production budget of $144 million and hefty marketing spend, box-office analysts believe Ghostbusters will earn $130 million at best by the end of its run.
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