"They are trying to define the experience," says Sony's domestic marketing chief as vocal (and sexist?) foes of the female reboot face off against a summer tentpole's trailers.
When Sony Pictures' second trailer for its female-fronted Ghostbusters
reboot appeared online May 18, fans initially had to find it on Facebook. The studio had switched from YouTube, which hosted the first trailer, in a deliberate effort to combat a cacophony of negative reaction emanating from a very vocal minority online.
With the YouTube trailer, bloggers could embed the player on their sites to congregate negativity on Sony's official YouTube channel, a move akin to spraying toxic green slime all over the studio. As a result, the Ghostbusters
teaser was dubbed the most disliked trailer ever — not the kind of buzz Sony or director Paul Feig want just months before the $150 million comedy's July 15 release.
Given the high stakes riding on the franchise reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, the studio was determined not to let the anti-Ghostbusters
contingent mar the movie's perception. "What tends to happen with a beloved property is the fanboy or the fangirl shows up and says, 'How dare you remake this?' " says Sony domestic marketing president Dwight Caines.
But the umbrage taken has been even more pronounced than for the average reboot, and many believe it's because Ghostbusters
marks the first major film to get a female-centric redo (plans for others are in the works, from Ocean's Eleven
to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
). Gender politics is rearing its ugly head, some say, with even Donald Trump weighing in last year on Instagram: "Now they're making Ghostbusters
with only women. What's going on?!"
To some extent, Sony was expecting negative reaction to the first trailer, which contained very few special effects scenes because they mostly weren't ready. When the studio launched the first footage of Sam Raimi's 2002 Spider-Man
, it scored a 65 percent negative rating. For the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man
, it was 60 percent negative. And Daniel Craig's first James Bond film, Casino Royale
, drew a 55 percent negative rating.
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- Source: The Hollywood Reporter