Frozen Empire Opens at Tepid $41 Million and Counting at the Box Office

Sony Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire will have no trouble pulling off a relatively quiet weekend at the box office, but opinions are divided on whether it can reach $42 million to $44 million in its domestic opening.

Sony remains optimistic that it will indeed hit that goal after earning $16 million on Friday, including $4.7 million from previews on Thursday. Rival studios, however, show Frozen Empire amounting to approximately $41 million, behind the $44 million pandemic relief program launch Ghostbusters: The Afterlife in 2021. Nearly 40% of Friday’s gross came from premium format screens, including some Imax locations. (Dune: part two still has a large Imax footprint.)

Most recent ghost hunters entry is challenged by mediocre reviews and a B+ CinemaScore from audiences, compared to an A- for Life after death. Another challenge is bad weather along the east coast.

Frozen Empire is a direct continuation of Life after death, which managed to restore the luster to the classic franchise created by the late Ivan Reitman. His son, Jason Reitman, directed Life after deathbut this time around, he handed directing duties to series co-writer Gil Kenan.

The film features returning actors Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Celeste O’Connor and Logan Kim, alongside Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and William Atherton, who starred in the original films from the 1980s. Newcomers to the series include Kumail Nanjiani and Patton Oswalt.

Written by Kenan and Reitman, the story follows the Spengler family as they return to the New York City Firehouse to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who have developed a top-secret research lab to take ghosts to the level superior. But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an army of…

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