Dan Aykroyd: Ghostbusters remake cost too much, the reshoots killed it

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Before Wonder Woman shattered every ceiling over the weekend, the last female-led film getting this much attention was the Ghostbusters remake featuring Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones. Unfortunately, the buzz around that flick was not so positive, either before or after it opened. The original Ghostbusters had a sequel and with all the discussion of a Wonder Woman sequel, folks want to know if there will be a second lap for the Gal-Ghostbusters. According to Dan Aykroyd, no – and it’s all director Paul Fieg’s fault. Dan appeared on Sunday Brunch when he was asked about the Ghostbusters reboot and any subsequent films. Dan responded as follows:

For those at work who can’t play it, what Dan said was:

“The girls are great in it. Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig – what a wonderful, wonderful players they are – and Leslie Jones. I was really happy with the movie, but it cost too much. And Sony does not like to lose money. It made a lot of money around the world but just cost too much, making it economically not feasible to do another one. So that’s too bad – the director, he spent too much on it. He didn’t shoot scenes we suggested to him and several scenes that were going to be needed and he said “nah, we don’t need them”. Then we tested the movie and they needed them and he had to go back. About $30 to $40 million in reshoots. So he will not be back on the Sony lot any time soon.”

[Translated by The Interrobang]

Most outlets are running headlines that claim Dan blasted Fieg but if you listen to it, he sounded pretty business-like. He emphasized that Sony has an issue with not making enough money. The film ultimately cost $144 million and only made $229 million. (I swear, the numbers we discuss when it comes to Hollywood money astound me.) Of course, the reason Fieg had to do reshoots is he didn’t listen to his producers in the first place, which likely upset Dan, one of those producers. I also don’t doubt Dan felt territorial over the franchise and probably got his nose out of joint when Fieg didn’t listen to him. Still, it was a dig but I don’t know about a pounding. Plus, someone else close to production said Sony loves Fieg. They also challenge the reshoot number, saying it only cost $3-4 million. That would certainly change the story but I don’t know, we saw those reshoots when they were happening and those were some expensive scenes. I’d be surprised if they only cost $4 million.

I didn’t realize we weren’t talking about a sequel to Ghostbusters, that’s too bad, I enjoyed the characters chemistry enough to have seen a second. Maybe they should join forces with Wonder Woman in the sequel? That might be a tough story arc, though, considering that the Ghostbusters’ secretary, Chris Hemsworth, is currently battling with WW on Twitter over who would win in a Thor/WW match up. Not battling so much because they both agree WW would kick Thor’s ass. So GB sequel: Thor works undercover for the GBs. But he gets sucked in the ghost trap when his cape gets caught on the switch. GBs call on WW to save him, which she does, and then they all kick Fieg’s ass because he’s probably going into reshoots again – BOOM! Cut the check.

Speaking of sequels we all want – Dan is appearing with SCTV and SNL alums Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy Martin Short, three members of Kids in the Hall and Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas as The McKenzie Brothers, for a benefit in Toronto July 18th. Even more touching is the benefit is for Dave Thomas’ nephew who was partially paralyzed in a snowmobile accident last January. Talented friends are nice, but good friends are better.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos

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26 Responses to “Dan Aykroyd: Ghostbusters remake cost too much, the reshoots killed it”

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  1. jugil1 says:

    Sorry but I thought the Ghostbusters reboot was terrible. I loved the cast but the script was horrendous.

    • Zuzus Girl says:

      I’m with you. I didn’t like it at all. Cast was okay (though I’m not a Melissa McCarthy fan, her comedy is usually too over the top for me. She’s better in drama.) The script killed it. Just wasn’t smart or funny.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      Same! I went to support a female-driven movie but it was straight up terrible. I wouldn’t be interested in a sequel.

    • Pandy says:

      Totally agree. All the women are super talented but the script was terrible.
      On a totally superficial note, I love that he and Donna Dixon are still together and she looks terrific!

    • TyrantDestroyed says:

      It was not a funny movie.

  2. Partasti says:

    Ghostbusters only did as well as it did because of the feminist support. It was a steaming pile. Pattie was handled horribly, they seemed annoyed by her (brilliant) presence until they knew she had a car. Thank god a Chris Farley and Pamela Anderson bimboesque like actor was not in the first two.

    It literally was a feminist exploiting film and a bunch of us fell for it.

  3. Piggle says:

    I’ve heard the same thing from tons of industry people, the director screwed up. Didn’t take advice, spent too much money. Such a shame.

  4. Valois says:

    There’s no way reshots only cost 4 million, not with that kind of film on that budget.
    Also, marketing is not included in the 144 million. Overall, the film was simply hella expensive.

  5. Mia4s says:

    Yeah that was a pretty business like response, it’s just that normally we don’t hear anything resembling the truth from Hollywood. Whatever the reshoot cost if the budget was $144 million the FLOOR for getting a sequel would have been $300 million worldwide. And even that would have been questionable.

    They had the budget of a special fx blockbuster but made a just OK comedy. Really ill-advised.

    • Oxy says:

      Try closer to $500m+ to usually green light a sequel for a movie costing that much. It cost $144m just to make it, and probably another $40m+ in P&A costs.

      Don’t forget that the studios only keep 50% of the box office (the cut is even less internationally esp. China where they only get back about 25%). So the $229m it made world wide is nothing as they would have only seen around $100m+ from the box office run which doesn’t even cover the cost of the film.

      The only saving grace is if they made a ton from ancillary products, licensing etc. which would allow them to recoup some of the costs and possible balance things out.

      • Mia4s says:

        No it would be $500 million in a sensible universe but studios have lost their minds. They are so desperate for franchises they’ve lowered the ball to take ridiculous risks. Pacific Rim is getting a sequel even though it cost upwards of $190 million before marketing and only made $400 million. Snow White and the Huntsman was about $170 million before marketing and came in just under $400 million.

        Now what both of those movies had in common was the sequels are lower or no increase budget and did away with some if not all the original cast to save money. If Ghostbusters had come in just a bit higher they would have tweaked it and tried it. Stupid? Probably! The Huntsman sequel was already a disaster (I have no faith in the Pacific Rim one either) but they’re still trying it!

  6. Karen says:

    229m was the total boxoffice before the movie theaters take their cut (i believe that’s how it’s shown). if it cost 144m with another 10-20m in marketing, the movie probably was in the red in sonys books.

  7. Foxy says:

    Pushing feminist propaganda doesn’t work.

    • Ann says:

      There really was no “feminist agenda” that was being “pushed”. They recast women in the roles played by men and cast a man in the role previously played by a woman. No biggie.

  8. Miss M says:

    Too bad they spent so much money in reshoots and I could even tell when the scene was in Boston and not in NYC (as portrayed in the story).
    I loved the cast, had fun watching and I was hoping they would have a sequel with a better screenplay.

    I loved Chems’s reply to Gal! Chris Evans also tweeted congratulating the success of WW.

  9. Jeesie says:

    To be fair the originals cost about $80-100 million each in today’s dollars, and made well over a billion dollars combined in today’s dollars. People expect better effects these days so a bump in budget was to be expected, and if the new film had performed like the old films it would have been fine. Early on that the studio was thinking it would be a big $500 million+ hit. They were never planning on it only making a bit over $200 million.

    The real problem was it just wasn’t a good movie. The only thing it had going for it was Kate McKinnon. Word of mouth (from people who actually saw it, not the mouth breathers who protested it) was bad. Some big tent pole action movies can survive that, but people don’t go to Ghostbusters to see cool explosions or car races, so the comedy needs to be top notch.

  10. Hannah says:

    *Aykroyd

  11. smcollins says:

    I guess I’m in the minority because I really enjoyed it. I’ll admit I was skeptical of a remake (the original was one of my favorite movies as a kid), but the more I watch it the more I love it. A lot of it has to do with the casts’ chemistry, but I really like it none-the-less.

  12. Luca76 says:

    I love SCTV..

  13. Wonderbunny says:

    I finally watched the Ghostbusters reboot last weekend and I actually thought it was pretty funny. Since I had only read negative reviews, my expectations were really low. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and found myself laughing especially at the more low key jokes. I also kept thinking how I would’ve loved it as a child and it probably would’ve ended up being one of those movies that I kept rewatching.

    That said, the budget sounded way too big for it. Not that I’m an expert on Hollywood movie budgeting. I also hated that it became a feminist issue instead of being seen as another goofy comedy with modern special effects. The fact that it had an all female ghostbusting cast should not have mattered (as it did not in the film itself). The whole “look, women are doing stuff!” makes me feel as if I’m actually supposed to be really incompetent. But that’s just me. Perhaps it’s helping someone else.

  14. Lua says:

    It’s a great movie, the script is waaaaay better than the original. The original is so cheese ball. Weaver wriggling around awkwardly trying to look sexy and just saying gate keeper over and over again? People have terrible tastes in movies these days and are way too unwilling to let women be any character other than the sexy damsel in distress 😧

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      I don’t have any problem with women in film being smart, funny, or anything other than a damsel (actually I prefer them being anything BUT a damsel). I simply found the Ghostbusters remake to be plain awful and unfunny. I don’t think the dislike for the film is mostly sexism. It’s just a bad movie which owes a lot of its receipts to ladies like me, who paid to see a female driven movie, and were disappointed with the result.

  15. Marianne says:

    I doubt Paul Feig wont be welcomed back. Sony is probably gonna write it off as “Nobody likes women” which is total BS, because there have been plenty of successful female led films.

    I think the film had a shaky start to begin with. Yes, from some dudebros that didnt like women taking over men roles…but also the promos looked terrible. I personally am in the minority of not finding Melissa McCarthy funny so it didnt grab me. I think things like that didnt help it get its legs off the ground.

  16. Cleo says:

    My mom actually saw Dan Aykroyd in an Atlanta parking lot back in the 80s and got so excited that she yelled “Hey!” at him from the other side of the lot and waved. She startled him so badly that he turned around and disappeared. So don’t yell at Dan Aykroyd in parking lots.

    That’s all I got.

  17. TotallyBiased says:

    Loved the Ghostbusters reboot, laughed my head off, and saw it three times in the theatre. Bought the DVD, which is different from the cut shown in the theatre, and didn’t like it nearly as much. Go figure.