Davis: Haters are gonna hate; box office is gonna grin

Showing in Kelowna: Every once in a while, a movie comes along that people seem to love to hate—even before having seen it.

Who you gonna call? Melissa McCarthy (left)

Rick DavisWhen the budget for Waterworld started skyrocketing and reports of strife on the set were reported, some people were prophesizing its doom.  While the movie was a not a blockbuster, it was a rousing adventure that did decent business and eventually turned a profit. (What is even more amazing is the Waterworld stunt show has been one of the most successful attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood since it opened in 1995 and is also featured at their Singapore and Japan parks.)

Another movie people hated before its release was Titanic, yet another with a runaway budget that had pundits predicting a box office bomb before it turned out to be a massive hit.  Even the haters of big budget disasters like Cutthroat Island and more recently The Lone Ranger have to admit that they are still a fun watch if you can cut through the cynicism.

The point is that there seems to be a lot of hate for the Ghostbusters reboot even before its release.  When the first trailer was released in March, the Internet, as they say, blew up with negative comments about it, resulting in one of the most “disliked” videos on YouTube.

There has also been negativity surrounding the fact that all the Ghostbusters are now female, notwithstanding that they are played by four of the funniest women—correction: Four of the funniest people—on the planet. Melissa McCarthy is one of the most bankable stars out there, Kristen Wiig has proven herself in both comedy and drama, Kate McKinnon apparently steals the movie and has proven herself as one of the best regulars on Saturday Night Live and then there is Leslie Jones, the real reason I still watch SNL.

I have heard some complaints from people who have actually seen the reboot that it is not that funny, however, one could argue that the original was not that funny either. It was humorous, but its real charm was that it was a sci-fi action movie with comedic moments, something that was new and fresh when it came out in 1986. By the time the sequel came in 1989, it was one of the top movies of that year but there seemed to be a large number of haters even before (and after) it came out.

In the end, this new Ghostbusters will have enough people going to see it who will be entertained by simply enjoying it as is.  The haters just seem to take their “popcorn movies” too seriously.

For those who do take their popcorn movies seriously, fans of John le Carre (The Russia House, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) will be interested in the latest adaptation of one of his novels, Our Kind of Traitor. Starring Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis and Naomi Harris, the John le Carre spy movie relies on strong acting and writing rather than action to deliver its thrills.