Sunday, July 24, 2016

Why the "Ghostbusters" Movie Bombed At The Box Office

Ghost Busted
As predicted by many movie critics, "Ghostbusters" (2016) failed at the box office. Its Thursday opening in the States was only US$ 3.4M. Throughout the weekend the film continued to play to largely empty rooms.

For the whole weekend the film grossed US$ 46M domestically. It has made only a few million in other markets, for a total of US$ 64M world-wide.

Even the Hollywood Reporter is now retreating from its original praise and acknowledging the film is a flop because the marketing was divisive.

On what should have been an easy slam dunk victory, Paul Feig and Sony so thoroughly screwed up that the 26,400,000+ male sci-fi fans in the US market boycotted Ghostbusters.

The verdict is in: Movie makers cannot build an effective marketing campaign around manufactured controversy and misandry slacktivism. They cannot attempt to manipulate the politics of gender wars for profit on a comedy franchise property.

Painting men as dumb when men represent over half the Ghostbusters fan demographic was idiotic. Producers don’t call the people they need to watch their movie "trolls" and expect to do well at the box office. Sony needed to win the male fans over and instead did everything possible to drive them away in a desperate attempt to appeal to misandric feminists.

That was a dumb idea. The fact is misandric feminists are not a significant consumer power in the world market. The idea they would make the film into a box office miracle was based in nothing factual.

"Ghostbusters" bombed for one reason: Feig created an echo chamber where he heard only his own agreeable thoughts and dismissed any criticism of his film that was leveled at it by the mass consumer since its very early conception. The market told Feig it did not want his reboot and he did not listen. That is why "Ghostbusters" failed in the market just as any product developed and marketed under these conditions has. It was the easily predictable outcome for "Ghostbusters."

Just because you can get a few dozen die-hard fans enamored with the reboot by giving them the attention they so desperately crave does not a viral marketing campaign make. The reality is the core product has to address the needs of the majority of target consumers and the reboot consistently ignored these needs. That is why it failed to entice them to go to the box office.

Worse Sony honestly thought they could build a cinematic universe out of "Ghostbusters" by centering its themes around a divisive issue like radical psuedo-feminism while having limited involvement from the original cast and producers. This notion is utterly detached from market reality.

Fact is, for the past year you can no longer conduct a Google search about the word 'Ghostbusters' without hundreds of trashy articles talking about "sexist men" flooding the page. Anyone who believed this was a good result is an utter moron. Feig’s delicate ego might feel better but it resulted in a box office flop for Sony.

The producers have made the same mistake of anyone who has experienced some success; they were blinded by their arrogance and intentionally ignored all the warning signs. They allowed their pride to reign over their logic.

The final cherry on this turd sandwich is that because the film violates Chinese censorship laws related to the supernatural the film will never release in China. "Ghostbusters" needed to succeed in the North American market, specifically in the United States. Yet everything possible to alienate the die-hard fans of the franchise was done by the producer, director and the marketing team. Consequently Sony has lost tens of millions of dollars on this film and equally lost the opportunity to repeat the earlier success of the "Ghostbusters" franchise from the 80’s and 90’s which in today’s market could be a multi billion dollar licensing business.

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