Ghostbusters: Afterlife busts box office expectations on opening weekend!

Los Angeles, California - Moviegoers ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

Ghostbusters: Afterlife exceeded expectations on its opening weekend.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife exceeded expectations on its opening weekend.  © IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife scared up $44 million this weekend, exceeding expectations and unseating Disney’s Eternals atop the domestic box office, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

The fourth installment in the spooky franchise was projected to gross $30 million to $35 million in its opening weekend, which was delayed more than a year by the Covid-19 pandemic. Eternals fell to second position in its third weekend, collecting $10.8 million for a North American total of $135.8 million.

Without adjusting for pandemic-related losses or inflation, Afterlife notched the second-biggest opening for a Ghostbusters movie, just barely trailing the all-female revival, which launched at $46 million in 2016. Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989) opened at $13.6 million and $29.5 million, respectively.

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Directed by Jason Reitman – son of original Ghostbusters filmmaker Ivan Reitman – Afterlife stars , Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor, and Finn Wolfhard as a new generation of phantom hunters investigating something strange in their neighborhood.

The spectral comedy also features nostalgic cameos from original ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson. Their fourth cast mate, Harold Ramis, died in 2014.

On review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, Afterlife scored a middling 62%, while the Los Angeles Times deemed the sequel "listless," "creatively bankrupt," and "unaware of the charm and appeal of its predecessors."

The family flick fared better with moviegoers, landing an impressive 96% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. An official letter grade from CinemaScore has yet to be posted.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

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