Fans of 2016’s Ghostbusters: Answer the Call are up in arms over reports that the film won’t be included in a franchise boxed set slated for early next year, with the film’s director, Paul Feig, joining the fray.
At issue is the pending home entertainment release of the recent theatrical release Ghostbusters: Afterlife from director Jason Reitman, which served as a direct sequel to his father Ivan Reitman’s 1980s “Ghostbusters” films — 1984’s Ghostbusters and 1989’s Ghostbusters II — while Answer the Call was a reboot with no narrative connection to the earlier films, though it featured cameos from original cast members such as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson as different characters.
While Blu-ray Disc and DVD plans for Afterlife have yet to be officially announced by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, an Amazon.com listing indicates the film will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Feb. 1. Among the release configurations are Blu-ray and DVD trilogy sets of the three Reitman films, as well as the Ghostbusters Ultimate Collection — which in the listing appears to be an eight-disc set of the three Reitman films, plus bonus feature discs and a making-of book within a case that mimics a ghost trap.
Many entertainment bloggers began pointing out that the Ultimate Collection appeared to snub director Paul Feig’s 2016 reboot version, which focused on a female-centric team of Ghostbusters that was not part of the continuity of the Reitman trilogy. This in turn prompted fans of the 2016 film to take to Twitter, YouTube and other social media outlets to express disappointment that the film wouldn’t be included in something labeled as an “ultimate” collection of the franchise, as if the studio were trying to erase it from existence. Feig himself tweeted his dismay Dec. 22:
Um … @SonyPictures, I know this must be a mistake. We do have a lot of fans and Bill, Dan and Ernie were in it and it won the Kids Choice Award for Best Feature Film the year it came out. So, I guess this was just an oversight? #weareallghostbusters — @paulfeig
Feig’s tweet was quickly “ratioed,” which is Twitter parlance for having more comments than likes, indicating a general disapproval of the tweet by the public. As of late Dec. 23, Feig’s tweet had over 2,200 comments compared with over 1,800 likes.
Comments disagreeing with Feig and defending the omission ranged from stating the set was just focusing on the Reitman trilogy, of which the 2016 film wasn’t a part, to arguing the 2016 version wasn’t very good and deserved to be forgotten.
Answer the Call earned $229.1 million at the global box office compared with a reported $144 million budget, which after accounting for marketing and other costs supposedly took a $70 million loss for the studio. Afterlife, released during the pandemic, has thus far earned more than $175 million against a reported budget of $75 million.