Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Rakes in a Whopping $45.2 Million Weekend!

The latest movie in the Ghostbusters series, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” had no trouble beating out its competition at the box office this past weekend. It debuted with a steady, if not earth-shattering, $45.2 million, as reported by Comscore.

Directed by Gil Kenan, this new chapter in Sony’s 40-year-old ghost-fighting saga performed slightly better than its 2021 predecessor, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” The latter, directed by Jason Reitman, who also co-wrote “Frozen Empire,” opened with $44 million in revenue.

However, the modest increase in revenue for this highly promoted sequel seems less impressive when you consider the fact that “Afterlife” was launched during a time when the box office was still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.

Reitman has been vocal about his commitment to maintaining the legacy of his father Ivan’s original classic, which was released during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. “We all want to see Indiana Jones put the hat back on. We want to see the DeLorean hit 88 again. We all want another ride in the [Ghostbusters’] car,” he told The Times in 2021.

However, the performance of “Frozen Empire” implies that there are limits to nostalgia and that the franchise could be nearing a point of diminishing returns as its primary fan base ages.

Nonetheless, the opening of “Frozen Empire” stands as the second most successful debut for a Ghostbusters movie, following the heavily criticized all-female reboot in 2016. This brings the franchise’s total earnings to over $1 billion.

“Frozen Empire,” which brings together the new generation of ghostbusters from the previous film, including Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, McKenna Grace, and Finn Wolfhard, with the original team played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts, was not particularly well-received by critics. Despite a talented cast, the film, which involves battling an ice lord demon threatening to trigger another Ice Age, only scored 43% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore.

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Meanwhile, “Dune: Part Two” secured the No. 2 spot in its fourth weekend, bringing in $17.6 million. Altogether, the highly praised science fiction film by Denis Villeneuve has grossed $233 million domestically and $574 million globally, making it the eighth highest-grossing Imax release of all time.

After two weeks at the peak of the charts, Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 4” fell to third place with $16.8 million. The film has generated $133 million in North America and a total of $268 million worldwide.

The only other significant release of the weekend, “Immaculate,” a religious-themed psychological horror film from Neon, debuted in fourth place with $5.4 million. The movie, which stars Sydney Sweeney as an American nun who discovers her Italian convent is home to dark secrets, was met with lukewarm reviews.

Completing the top five was Mark Wahlberg’s heartwarming dog movie, “Arthur the King,” which pulled in $4.4 million in its second weekend, for a total of $14.6 million.

Among special releases, IFC Films’ low-budget horror film “Late Night With the Devil” performed exceptionally well, earning $2.8 million, the largest opening weekend in the distributor’s history.

Despite these successes, the domestic theater industry remains somewhat stagnant. This weekend’s total box office was 12% less than the same weekend last year. To date, the cumulative box office for the year is running 9% behind the 2023 tally, a trend that analysts expect to continue throughout the year.

Looking ahead to next week, “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is set to open in wide release.

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