As per the Hollywood Reporter, a sequel to Paul Feig’s pricey Ghostbusters reboot is now considered unlikely despite earlier reports to the contrary. The film, which opened to unspectacular box office numbers and middling critical response in early July, is expected to incur a loss of over $70 million—though Sony Pictures disputes the figure. (This doesn’t mean the studio has completely given up on the property: Instead, discussions around tangentially related animated films and television projects in the years to come are also being reported.)
Ghostbusters was plagued by controversy and outsized expectations long before its completion, ultimately carrying a hefty $144 million production budget in addition to a steep marketing campaign. While officially signed to appear in sequels, the film’s cast—including bankable leads Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig—is now attached to a fading potential franchise. Indeed, Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst, told the Hollywood Reporter that he “just can’t fathom the creative talents behind it—Feig, McCarthy, Wiig, etc.—slogging out another [Ghostbusters] when the reception to the first one was so mediocre.”
Perhaps that’s for the best. While the new Ghostbusters is by no means a failure, it doesn’t quite represent what its director and cast are capable of. And even if it did, the demands of building a franchise out of such a mildly received launch would likely be the opposite of creatively invigorating. Sony appears to have come to the conclusion that, at this point, producing a Ghostbusters sequel is more trouble than it’s probably worth.