No this isn’t a Jerry Seinfeld bit. First released in 1984, Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel were films that carved out enormous fame and influence in the movie zeitgeist. As supernatural comedies, the concepts were odd ones, but thanks to a strong cast and great direction, they managed to easily stand the test of time. All hasn’t been smooth-sailing for the Ghostbusters franchise, however, though the recent release of Afterlife might indicate a return to form.
The Reboot Failure
Filmed thirty years after the second film, 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot faced an uphill battle. It lacked the actors of the original project, introducing new names and a new tone that many long-time fans found alienating. As a result, the reboot was a box-office bomb, losing some $70 million on a $144 million budget.
A Second Attempt
Rather than a reboot, Ghostbusters: Afterlife was credited as a direct sequel to Ghostbusters 2. This attempt brought together most of the surviving actors, as their families discovered and came to terms with the Buster’s legacy. Aside from the obvious draw of returning names like Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, Afterlife also had the benefit of director Jason Reitman, whose father Ivan directed and produced the first two films.
As it turned out, reverence to what made the original movies great paid off, and Afterlife was a commercial success, though not quite as loved as the first two. Thanks to the combined efforts of the cast and crew, Afterlife has been credited with reviving the series and creating a path for which future films can follow.
Typical for successful franchises, the new movie has also rekindled interest in merchandise and other media. PlayStation title Dreams included an official game, which built a small world to explore and enjoy. While not a full title, the rearrival of the property makes a new larger game release all but inevitable.
Also indicative of the film’s success are more cross-media promotions like the Ghostbusters: Afterlife online casino slot. Though individual titles like this play only a small part in the attraction to the industry, alongside no deposit casino bonuses, they still indicate a renewed level of fan interest. After all, these games wouldn’t perform without player interest, and since many highly-rated casinos offer the Afterlife title, its appeal must be financially viable.
As for the future of the series, we’d bet on the Hollywood machine continually leaning into the idea as long as possible. Series and franchises are the hot new thing to do, and in this, Ghostbusters could be no different than the dozens of other properties trying to reach out. As long as we get more Afterlife and less reboot, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.