Ghostbusters Tops the 4th July Weekend

Almost four decades after its initial release, Ghostbusters is once more at the top of the box office. Bloody Disgusting reports the classic 1984 supernatural comedy featuring Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Sigourney Weaver grossed $550,000 over the 4th of July weekend. Ironically, Columbia Pictures planned to release Jason Reitman’s sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife around this time. But then coronavirus turned the entire world upside down, let alone the 2020 summer movie season.

Even though movie theater chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark remain mostly closed, Ghostbusters played at 622 locations. As before, drive-in cinemas continue accounting for most box office business. As for other popular movies at the weekend box office? Next is Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level with approximately $300,000. In the third place with $282,000 is Relic, a haunted house horror featuring Bella Heathcote (The Neon Demon), Emily Mortimer (Shutter Island), and Robyn Nevin (Top of the Lake). Jurassic Park is in fourth place with $235,000 while in fifth place is yet another Stephen Spielberg movie (and the first modern blockbuster) – Jaws, with $195,000.

Cinemas Sue New Jersey; Demand Reopening

And speaking of cinemas, we wrote plenty about the misfortunes of movie theaters during the pandemic, especially major chains like AMC and Regal. This week, the National Association of Theatre Owners of New Jersey filed a suit against the state of New Jersey. In it, they claim how keeping cinemas closed while opening other places of business is a violation of the First Amendment. After all “if churches are reopening, so must movie houses.”

In the present circumstances, this writer believes that the suit is probably less about freedom of speech and far more movie theaters are facing bankruptcy after four months of being closed. And while the desperation of movie theater owners is both understandable and real, so is the fact that cramming a large number of people in cinemas makes them perfect spots for virus transmission. As for businesses in general, states like Arizona, Florida, and Texas that led the call for reopening in May and June, are now new epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week the US broke sad new records by reaching over 50,000 new cases per day. According to data by the CDC and WHO, there are currently 4,8 million active cases of COVID-19 around the world. Almost two million of them are in the USA. In such a climate, even if the number of new cases dropped to zero tomorrow, it would likely still take weeks for moviegoers to start revisiting cinemas in large numbers.

FX and Disney+ Bring More Panels to Comic-Con@Home

FX Networks and Disney+ are adding panels to this year’s virtual edition of San Diego Comic-Con. The network will present two of their fan-favorite shows: animated spy spoof Archer and the vampire mockumentary series What We Do in the Shadows. Created by Adam Reed (Frisky Dingo, Sealab 2021) in 2009, Archer is entering its eleventh season. Its panel will feature voice actors like Judy Greer, Chris Parnell, Amber Nash, Aisha Tyler, and Lucky Yates. As for What We Do in the Shadows, this TV series further develops the premise of Taika Waititi’s 2014 film. Its panel will be a discussion hosted by Haley Joel Osment involving the show’s actors Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, Kayvan Novak, and Mark Proksch.

As for Disney+, the streaming network is planning panels for three new projects: Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe, the anthology documentary series Marvel’s 616, and National Geographic’s TV series The Right Stuff. The Phineas and Ferb panel will feature creators and voice actors of this long-running animated TV show consisting of more than 200 episodes. Marvel’s 616 series documents the rich history of the Marvel Comics, both of its creators and their creations alike. Finally, The Right Stuff panel will introduce the upcoming TV series adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s 1979 best-selling book about the early years of the US space program.

Comic-Con@Home will also include panels by AMC and Hulu. The event will take place in late July, between July 23 – 26.