Box Office: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Opens to $4.5 Million in Thursday Previews

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Halloween may be over, but the ghosts are here to stay. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” picked up $4.5 million in Thursday previews.

The spooky Sony sequel is expected to generate a three-day total of around $27-30 million, taking a first-place finish at the domestic box office over fellow releases “King Richard” from Warner Bros. and A24’s “C’mon C’mon.” It opened at 3, 450 locations and is poised to play well through the Thanksgiving holiday.

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The latest entry in the “Ghostbusters” franchise follows a new cast of characters, including Paul Rudd, McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard and Carrie Coon, who find themselves at the center of supernatural seismic activity in a small town in Oklahoma. Rudd plays Gary Grooberson, a fan of the original Ghostbusters and an amateur parapsychologist, and Grace, Wolfhard and Coon are a new family in town with a secret connection to the original ghost-busting gang. With the help of some rediscovered proton packs, ghost traps and the Ectomobile, they all work together to overcome the supernatural threat to the town. Original Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson also reprise their roles as Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddermore.

Jason Reitman, son of director Ivan Reitman, who helmed the first two “Ghostbusters” movies in 1984 and 1989, takes over from his father for the new installment. At a press junket, Reitman told Variety that he initially resisted the idea to direct a new “Ghostbusters,” saying he was “scared to pick up the proton pack.”

“But that’s what this movie became about,” he added. “‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ is about a family developing the courage to pick up the proton pack themselves.”

Reitman said that his daughter served as some inspiration for Grace’s character, the main protagonist who loves science and puns.

“I don’t think it’s an accident that I was a kid on the set of ‘Ghostbusters’ and that this is a movie about young people picking up that equipment and seeing how it works,” Reitman said. “It’s not an accident that I have a 12-year-old daughter, and that the center of this story is a brilliant 12-year-old girl who is a scientist who uses ghost-busting as a way to stop being an outsider and find a way to be a hero.”

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