To say that the 2016 remake/reboot of Ghostbusters was contentious from day one would be an understatement. This was a movie that some people hated to an almost insane degree. It caused the kind of discourse that becomes legendary, which means that it was time for the backlash to get hit with supporters. Director Paul Feig said at the Vulture Festival in L.A. that he was a little sad it came to that, because he believed the drama hurt the movie at the box office.
"I think it kind of hampered us a little bit because the movie became so much of a cause. I think for some of our audience, they were like, 'What the fuck? We don't wanna go to a cause. We just wanna watch a fuckin' movie,'" the director says.
Feig loved the movie, but once the train go rolling, there wasn't any stopping it — no matter what anyone involved said.
"It was a great regret in my life that the movie didn't do better, 'cause I really loved it," Feig explained. "It's not a perfect movie. None of my movies are perfect. I liked what we were doing with it. It was only supposed to be there to entertain people."
While all of that is a bummer, and we're probably not going to get a sequel, Feig does have one thing he holds onto: the fact that they beat Captain America: Civil War and Star Wars at the Kids Choice Awards.
"The teens are just watching it, not bringing all the baggage."
Ghostbusters turned into a whole thing months before it even came out. It became, for lack of a better word, a cause for people to hang their grievances on. Some purists hated that it existed in the first place. Those that were excited about the film thought the purists' hatred was rooted in misogyny. It was not a good time to be on the internet for anyone. Note that some of the vitriol was misogynistic — that's without a doubt — but not all of it. Unfortunately, the assholes of the world are often the loudest, and that became the conversation.
Sometimes the PR around a movie can take a life of its own, and there's nothing anyone involved can do about it. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. It's just a shame that such a talented cast and a solid movie got hurt by its own hype machine.