The Ghostbusters franchise sadly took a bit of a hit when the fanbase reacted negatively to the 2016 comedy movie which replaced the lead roles with women. Despite that movie actually being very good, it wasn’t until Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the 2021 legacy sequel, that the series of family movies became a success again, at least in terms of the box-office.
In a recent interview with Deadline, Sony chairman Tom Rothman discussed the financial situation at the movie studio, and cited the Ghostbusters, Venom, and Uncharted franchises as key successes. Sony, curiously, is the only major studio not to have a streaming service attached to its operations, which now actually appears to be a positive rather than a negative.
Despite the theatrical experience looking to be in danger, Rothman was enthusiastic about the properties Sony owns and the future of Sony Pictures. And, Ghostbusters: Afterlife played a large part in establishing the kind of cultural impact needed to be a theatrically successful studio in a streamer dominated market, according to Rothman.
“If you are going to achieve any sense of permanence, of mattering in the movie content business, you have to make cultural impact,” Rothman explained. “When [movies] fail, it’s rough. When they succeed, they’ve become a meaningful part of pop culture and when that happens, they become very valuable economically.”
“Sony Pictures alone has grossed $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office in those eight months, in the middle of Omicron. So, what do I say to those who say movies are dead? That’s a good death,” added Rothman.
“It wasn’t just Spider-Man; it was Ghostbusters and Venom, and also Uncharted, a brand-new franchise for us. Ours is a fantastic model, when you win,” Rothman claimed. “The fact that we are one of the few companies that put that first gives us a great advantage with talent and filmmakers,” he concluded.