The newest turn in the Ghostbusters saga appears to have connected with audiences and overperformed despite garnering mixed-negative reviews, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The weekend domestic gross for Ghostbusters: Afterlife is expected to hit $44 million, even though a bullish Variety was only calling for $40.5 million as of Saturday. With $16 million from overseas markets adding to the total, it looks like a $60 million weekend.

The picture is also positioned to do great business over Thanksgiving. House of Gucci, debuting next week, seems less likely to appeal to a family looking for a post-meal activity, and besides, people may already have marshmallows on the mind after chowing down on sweet potato pie.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a bit of a tonal shift from Paul Feig’s 2016 revisitation of the I.P., which starred Melissa McCarthy, Kirsten Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Chris Hemsworth, and ended up losing the studio $70 million. The new film is directed and co-written by Jason Reitman, whose father, Ivan Reitman, directed and produced the first film in 1984. The elder Reitman serves as producer here, and the studio’s marketing has been sure to share videos of the père et fils and their “passing of the proton pack.”

This next-generation appeal is ingrained in Afterlife’s story, with Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace playing grandchildren of the character Harold Ramis played back in the day. Paul Rudd is a middle school teacher who is infatuated with Ghostbusters lore. The living (and, weirdly, unliving) cast members from the classic films also make an appearance.

The movie sets itself up nicely for a sequel, which has not been announced, but I suspect we’ll hear something before Black Friday.

V.F.’s review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife includes phrases like “corporatized nostalgia” and “utterly unnecessary.” It calls Reitman’s project “almost shockingly plain about its mercenary purpose … to restart a moribund franchise, so that a dormant conveyor belt of product may groan back into motion.”

Elsewhere at the box office, the Oscar-tipped King Richard faulted considerably in its opening weekend, earning only $5.7 million according to THR. It came in fourth after Ghostbusters, week three of Eternals, and week two of Clifford The Big Red Dog. The Will Smith-led drama about Richard, Venus, and Serena Williams is a Warner Bros. film, which means it is also available to stream on HBO Max.

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