‘Ghostbusters’ Sequel? ‘It Will Happen,’ Sony Distribution Chief Says

On the heels of $46 million opening, studio eyes franchise plans

Who’s Sony gonna call … again? “Ghostbusters!”

Plans for a sequel to Paul Feig‘s female-led reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon are all but official, TheWrap has learned.

“The ‘Ghostbusters’ world is alive and well,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at the studio. “I expect ‘Ghostbusters’ to become an important brand and franchise,” he told TheWrap on Sunday.

“While nothing has been officially announced yet, there’s no doubt in my mind it will happen,” he added.

Whether that would mean Feig and all four leading ladies return to the series is not yet clear — though there’s no indication it wouldn’t.

“Ghostbusters” came in second place during its first weekend in theaters, grossing an estimated $46 million from 3,963 screens.

It represents the biggest film in which director Feig and McCarthy have collaborated and is the highest grossing live-action comedy in more than a year — easily topping the $33.5 million opening by Universal’s “Ted 2” in June of last year.

The reboot grossed $17.2 million to lead the box office on Friday. But that wasn’t quite enough to propel it to a weekend win as Illumination-Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets” came in ahead with $50.6 million in domestic grosses.

Made on a production budget of $144 million, the Sony reboot revolves around the lead Ghostbusters tackling a whole new haunting in New York City.

The film should eventually unseat the 1984 “Ghostbusters” as the highest grossing horror comedy of all time. The 32-year-old movie, starring Bill MurrayDan AykroydHarold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver, made $242.2 million in lifetime grosses domestically and more than $295 million worldwide.

“Ghostbusters” received generally favorable reviews, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 73 percent, but a weighted Metacritic score of only 60. The film also has a B+ Cinemascore, reflecting audience anticipation levels among those surveyed.

In the weeks leading up to the release, “Ghostbusters” was considered something of a wild card among analysts who weren’t sure how to account for negative social media chatter that plagued the title for months.

Internet haters in the guise of “Ghostbusters” purists had been focusing their negative energy on the film’s all-female leading cast ever since it entered production. Some of the vitriol included especially offensive sexist and racist hate speech.

With sequel plans brewing at Sony, it looks like the ladies of “Ghostbusters” may very well be shutting down the naysayers.