Sony Plans 'Ghostbusters' Screenings; Is This The 'Lion King' Effect?

Has the success of Disney’s The Lion King 3D at the box office this past weekend conjured the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? Sony said today it will re-release its comedy classic Ghostbusters in a special limited engagement beginning Oct. 13 that will see the film have one showtime one night a week — every Thursday during October — in the U.S. and Canada and select international markets. The studio plans about 500 theaters for the new run of the 1984 film, which starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Sigourney Weaver and has been redone in 2K digital and 5.1 surround sound.

The announcement comes on the heels of Lion King 3D grossing more than $30 million domestically last weekend, the fourth-highest September release ever — 17 years after the original film premiered. Disney released the film in 2,300 locations. Moves like Sony’s with Ghostbusters could signal that the industry is taking a similar closer look at its libraries to see whether there’s any extra value to a rerelease. A secondary reason for a Ghostbusters revival: The studio has long wanted to restart the franchise and Ghostbusters 3 has been in developmental limbo for years, held up in large part by the studio‚Äôs inability to get leading man Murray to commit, or even read a script. A warm reception at the multiplex could reinvigorate that process, though recently Aykroyd said the film will shoot next year even if Murray is not involved. Deadline is skeptical that another Ghostbusters will even be contemplated without Murray.

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