Ghostbusters: Afterlife swept its opening day box office.
After earning $4.5 million in its Thursday previews, Ghostbusters: Afterlife started off strong in its theatrical release, taking away $16.5 million at its Friday box office, from over four thousand theaters. According to Variety, this puts Sony's Ghostbusters sequel on track to earn at least $40.5 million in North American ticket sales, exceeding original projections that it would earn $27 to $30 million during its first three days in theaters.
While early reviews of Afterlife called it the sequel fans had been waiting for, featuring tons of Easter eggs and nods to the films that came before it, the film has since garnered mixed reviews from critics, currently sitting at 61 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. However, despite the middling reviews from critics, Afterlife has a strong audience score of 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes out of over a thousand ratings.
Set 32 years after the events of the first film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows the original Ghostbuster Egon Spengler's -- played by the late Harold Ramis in the 1984 film -- family after his daughter (Carrie Coon) and his grandchildren, Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) move into an Oklahoma farmhouse he left behind for them and the supernatural events that begin to affect the small town they now call home. Jason Reitman previously stated that Ramis' passing inspired him to "tell the story" of the Spengler family.
"There was a moment where I just saw this girl in my head, she was 12 years old and she was picking up a proton pack in the middle of a field and I didn't know who she was," Reitman said at the time. "And then I saw this, this teenage guy, and he was in Ecto-1 and he was drifting through wheat fields and I didn't know who he was. And when Harold Ramis passed away, I suddenly knew who they were. They were the Spenglers, and I knew I needed to tell the story."
While Ramis is physically absent from the film, Afterlife also sees his original teammates Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson reprising their roles as Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore, respectively. "It was a very personal and sometimes tear-inducing experience," Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman said of the original cast returning to set. "The day that all three of them showed up for the first time and were just checking stuff out -- it was just extraordinary; just feeling the vibe, not just for me, but I felt it in the crew and cast. I felt it everywhere."
Directed by Jason Reitman, Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows up the original 1984 Ghostbusters, which was directed by his father Ivan Reitman, and its 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is currently playing in theaters.
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