Ghostbusters fans who are interested in purchasing the franchise’s Ultimate Collection Box Set should do a quick inventory before parting with their hard-earned cash. The eight-disc boxed set includes the original Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, and this year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Conspicuous by its absence, however, is Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters from 2016.
Since the film’s omission was revealed, social media has been filled with people trying to justify why 2016’s Ghostbusters shouldn’t be included. The most popular reason making the rounds is that the story takes place in a different universe and therefore isn’t canon. Interestingly, Paul Feig decided to add his voice to the debate.
The director called out Sony on Twitter for what he says can only be an oversight as Ghostbusters: Answer The Call has a lot of fans. He also added that Bill, Dan, and Ernie were in it, and it won the Kids Choice Award for Best Feature Film the year it came out. Adding to the strangeness of the situation is that Feig’s movie was included in a 2016 box set, along with the first two pictures.
It’s been a minute since Sony released their all-female version of Ghostbusters. The movie starred Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy alongside Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones of Saturday Night Live fame. But upon its release, the film received immense backlash from fans which devolved into sexist comments and online trolling of the cast. The movie has been a contentious topic ever since.
Given the success of the franchise, it was a little surprising that 2016’s Ghostbusters didn’t do so well. But sometimes movies fail due to circumstance rather than quality, which was probably the case with the reboot. Although it featured a fantastic cast of women, the project seemed doomed from the start as fans of the original movies felt that the all-female cast was a gimmick and seemingly went out to sabotage the project even before it was released.
The box office takings were not kind to the female-led Ghostbusters either, with The Hollywood Reporter estimating that the film’s financial losses would be over $70 million. While the storytelling did feel somewhat lackluster, it probably would have done better if the folks who couldn’t fathom the idea of women fighting ghosts had been a little less vocal about it online.
The double standard is clear as Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife is nothing more than a nostalgia-soaked shell compared to the original films. Yet, despite polarizing opinions, the movie managed to earn $173.6 million at the global box office in the middle of a pandemic. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures has not given an official reason for the movie’s omission from the collector’s box set.
While there isn’t an exact listing of what’s available in Walmart’s Ghostbusters Ultimate Collection Box Set, it appears to include the 1984 Ghostbusters movie, a reprinting of the 1985 book Making Ghostbusters by Don Shay (which details the production of that original movie right down to notes accompanying the script), the 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II, 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and two discs of bonus content (via Polygon).