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 'Ghostbusters' Looking At $46M-Plus Opening Weekend – Midday B.O. Update - Deadline

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Well, the ladies are driving sales to Ghostbusters according to ComScore’s PostTrak, with industry projections seeing an opening weekend that’s north of $46 million after an $18M Friday. However, there’s a constituency of box office forecasters who still believe Ghostbusters can pull off a $55M-plus opening (Sony is sticking to their $40M-range estimate). Many still see Ghostbusters second to Illumination/Universal’s The Secret Life Of Pets, which will hold No. 1 with a second weekend north of $55M. Hands down, director Paul Feig and Ghostbusters star Melissa McCarthy can look forward to the best B.O. opening of their careers, outstripping The Heat ($39.1M). Given how early we are in the weekend, and how wild these estimates are, it’s too soon to rule whether Ghostbusters will sink or swim.

While it’s not a surprise to hear that women are dominating movie ticket sales, what is interesting to learn is that Ghostbusters is earning a solid 60% recommend among moviegoers according to PostTrak. That’s quite good. Here’s how that stacks up to other summer films: Captain America: Civil War and Finding Dory (74% definite recommend, that’s huge), Secret Life of Pets (61%) and Central Intelligence (59%). Fandango reports that Ghostbusters right now is the No. 1 advance ticket seller of the weekend, edging out Pets. 

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RelishMix reports a social media universe of link 100k for Ghostbusters across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which is strong for a summer tentpole. Sony is tapping brand partnerships and fans’ nostalgia to promote the movie, from partnering with Lyft to bringing back the Ecto-flavored Hi-C juice box. The original trailer from March is still getting 100K-plus views a day which is decent, and it has a 14:1 viral rate which is considered to be fantastic.

RelishMix notices that the social conversation is mixed at best, however. “Some fans can’t wait to see this take on Ghostbusters, while others are appalled at how bad it looks and are trying to rally others to skip it,” reports the social media monitor firm.

Chris Hemsworth has the biggest social following among the Ghostbusters cast members with 12.6M, but he’s not aggressively posting materials from the film. McCarthy counts 2.6M on social, while Feig has 2M and they’re busily promoting. Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon do not have a social footprint, while Leslie Jones has 330K between Twitter and Instagram.

20th Century Fox’s Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is expected to fall 50% in its second weekend with a three-day of $11M-plus.

Broad Green’s wide entry The Infiltrator will count $5M by Sunday. The distributor bought U.S. rights based on footage out of last year’s Cannes Film Festival for an estimated $4M.

PREVIOUS, 7:44 AM: Sony/Village Roadshow’s female spin on Ghostbusters finally hit the screen last night in previews, ringing up a solid $3.4 million.

By comparison, that’s more than the $1M B.O. racked up by The Heat in its first night of previews. That film turned out to be the highest opening for Ghostbusters director Paul Feig and star Melissa McCarthy, making $39.1M in its first weekend and $159.6M overall stateside. Granted, that’s an R-rated original action comedy, however, comps are hard for Ghostbusters. It should also be noted that Ghostbusters drew more than the $1.5M previews posted by by Adam Sandler’s 1980s arcade fiasco Pixels last July which opened to $24M, and stalled at $78.7M.

Ever since its first trailer dropped in March, Ghostbusters has been embattled by online male naysayers. But in the wake of its Hollywood premiere last Saturday, the VFX comedy is actually seeing a ray of hope at the weekend B.O. thanks to a groundswell of decent buzz from critics with a 73% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. And in a summer where blockbusters live and die by the Roman thumbs of film critics, that’s not a bad start for the Kristen Wiig-Melissa McCarthy-Kate McKinnon-Leslie Jones ensemble. As such, tracking has popped for Ghostbusters, moving beyond the $35M seen four weeks ago into the high-$40M, maybe $50M range in second place. Sony remains conservative in its projection with a $40M range-debut for the pic which cost $144M. Ghostbusters is booked at 3,963 theaters this weekend with an extra boost from 3D and Imax.

The Secret Life of Pets 1

Illumination Entertainment/Universal’s The Secret Life Of Pets is expected to hold No. 1 after earning $104.4M last weekend. Projections for Weekend 2 range between $50M-$60M. Yesterday, Pets feasted on $10.5M at 4,370 venues bringing its week tally to $152.7M. Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory was second with $2.6M at 3,871, raising its four-week running cume to $434.47M. This weekend, Dory should easily become the highest-grossing animated film of all time at the domestic box office, unseating DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek 2 ($441.2M), which has owned the title for the past 12 years.

Also new this weekend is Broad Green’s Bryan Cranston crime drama The Infiltrator, which opened Wednesday and currently counts an estimated $1.5M at 1,600 locations through two days. The movie directed by Brad Furman made $710K last night. Many expect the pic’s cume to climb to $5M-$6M by Sunday.