Monday, June 24, 2024

Frozen Empire’ Aims for $45 Million Debut

Sony’s supernatural comedy sequel “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” is aiming to defrost an icy box office. Although “Dune: Part Two” and “Kung Fu Panda 4” have helped to heat up the attendance at multiplexes, overall revenues remain 10% behind 2023.

The latest “Ghostbusters” installment is looking to collect $43 million to $45 million from 4,300 theaters in its domestic box office debut. Those ticket sales would match the start of its franchise predecessor, 2021’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which opened to $44 million as cinemas were just starting to recover from COVID. That film, which successfully revived the paranormal series after 30 years, eventually earned $129.3 million in North America and $204 million worldwide against a $75 million budget. “Frozen Empire” cost $100 million, so it’ll need to outgross the prior movie to justify its price tag. (That’s because cinema operators get to keep roughly 50% of revenues).

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” co-writer Gil Kenan took over directing duties on “Frozen Empire” from Jason Reitman, whose father Ivan helmed 1984’s “Ghostbusters.” Though the younger Reitman wasn’t behind the camera this time around, he penned the screenplay with Kenan. The newest entry takes place about four decades after the original — the ill-fated 2016 reboot doesn’t exist in this universe — and centers around a family with a connection to the legendary ghost-catching business. In “Frozen Empire,” the new recruits (Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon and Finn Wolfhard) team up with veteran Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts) to prevent an apocalyptic diety from igniting a second Ice Age.

Elsewhere at the box office, Sydney Sweeney’s religious horror film “Immaculate” is aiming for $5 million from 2,000 theaters in its first weekend of release. Neon is backing the movie, which just premiered at SXSW.

Directed by Michael Mohan, “Immaculate” follows Cecilia (Sweeney), an American nun who joins a remote convent in the Italian countryside. But her warm welcome is interrupted after she discovers her new home harbors some dark secrets. Despite mixed reviews, critics have been complimentary of Sweeney’s performance with Variety’s Stephen Saito writing, “the film shows how she can really hold the screen.”

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