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Ghostbusters is finally a billion dollar movie series

Frozen Empire's opening weekend sends the much-loved Ghostbusters past a milestone

Ghostbusters is finally a billion dollar movie series
Andrew Williams
27 March 2024

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire has hit cinemas, and its opening weekend sees this classic series finally glide past a billion dollars at the box office in its fortieth year.

Yep, while The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Barbie managed to make well over a billion dollars with a single movie, it has taken Ghostbusters five movies to reach the same milestone.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire made $45.2 million in the US over its opening weekend, and $5.3 million in the UK.

This is marginally more than the 2021 movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which made $44 million on its opening weekend in the US.

It’s also above initial projections, of $42 million. But it needs to make more than Afterlife too, as it was pricier to make its predecessor, with a budget of $100 million (Afterlife’s production budget was $75 million).

Wondering how the first two classic Ghostbusters films didn’t push this series into the mega money years ago?

Well, they kinda did, but inflation is a thing. 1984’s Ghostbusters made $243 million in cinemas. In today's money that's worth $652 million according to Box Office Mojo, making it the 37th most successful movie ever.

That first Ghostbusters was the series’s only mega-hit, though. Ghostbusters II made $215 million. And while that’s still much better than the films we’ve had since, dodgy reviews and a drop in earnings meant the film was seen as a disappointment.

Almost thirty years on, 2016’s Ghostbusters made $229 million, and 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife $204 million.

It’s all eyes on Frozen Empire to see if it will continue that downward slide.

The reviews won’t help. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire currently sits at 42% fresh over at Rotten Tomatoes. You may be surprised to hear this is significantly lower than either of the films that came before, given their lukewarm performance.

2016’s Ghostbusters, reviled in certain parts of the internet, achieved an impressive 74% rating, Ghostbusters: Afterlife an entirely respectable 64% (and a great 94% audience score).

Still, not everyone thinks Frozen Empire is the worst thing we’ve seen in the series to date. USA Today rustled up a ranking to make the most of the renewed interest in the franchise, placing Frozen Empire above both Ghostbusters II and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Genre specialist JoBlo did the same, and ranked Frozen Empire above 2016’s Ghostbusters.

Despite the slushy reviews, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire could well be worth watching if your affection for this series is still alive.