‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ is No. 1 with $45.2M, Sydney Sweeney’s ‘Immaculate’ lands in fourth

This image released by Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Mckenna Grace, Logan Kim, Dan Aykroyd and Patton Oswalt in a scene from "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire." (Jaap Buitendijk/Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)

NEW YORK — Ghost busting is still a good business.

“Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” collected $45.2 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday, handing Sony Pictures the studio’s first No. 1 film since last summer.


The opening weekend for “Frozen Empire,” in 4,345 theaters, was nearly exactly the same as the $44 million launch for “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” in 2021. “Afterlife” rebooted the franchise with a sequel built around the descendants (Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace) of Harold Ramis’ Egon Spengler, along with Paul Rudd’s seismologist Gary Grooberson.

Neither film has been a hit with critics, but audiences have been more receptive. “Frozen Empire” garnered a B+ CinemaScore from moviegoers, a tick down from the A- score for “Afterlife.” “Frozen Empire” isn’t assured of profitability, but it will hope for sustained business over spring break.

“Ghostbusters” films tend to make a low impact internationally. In 25 overseas markets, “Frozen Empire” added $16.4 million.

The latest “Ghostbusters” cost about $100 million to make. After Jason Reitman took over directing duties from his father, Ivan Reitman, to helm “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “Frozen Empire” is directed by Gil Kenan, co-writer of “Afterlife.”

Those two sequels took “Ghostbusters” in a more family-oriented, albeit PG-13 rated, direction, with original cast members Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray returning in supporting roles. After the 2016 female-led “Ghostbusters” prompted a backlash, Sony rebooted the franchise.

The weekend’s other new wide release was “Immaculate,” the horror film starring Sydney Sweeney as an American nun at a remote Italian convent. The film, released by Neon following a premiere at SXSW, debuted with $5.4 million on 2,354 screens. Sweeney’s ascending star power helped make “Anyone But You” one of the most successful rom-coms in years. But “Immaculate,” an independent production that cost less than $10 million make, isn’t getting the same bounce.

The No. 2 spot went to “Dune: Part Two,” which continues to hold well. The Denis Villeneuve-directed sci-fi sequel starring Timothée Chalamet added $17.6 million in its fourth weekend of release, bringing the Warner Bros. release’s domestic total to $233.4 million. Overseas sales are just as strong, adding up to a $574.4 million worldwide haul.

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