Ghostbusters trailer got me excited like a little kid. That hasn't happened in a while. Everyone in it is so funny & the ghosts look GREAT.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 3, 2016
Hey, different strokes for different folks, right? Except that the divisiveness is pretty epic. And it likely has something to do with the gender make-up of the cast.
On the trailer's YouTube page, more than 100,000 people have liked the video and nearly 200,000 have disliked it. That might be a record-breaking amount of hate for a trailer. To give you some context, the official trailer for the recent bomb "Gods of Egypt," which came under fire for a whitewashed cast, was liked around 10,600 times and got 1,300 dislikes. "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," which has its own share of controversy and trailer haters, has 414,000 up votes and 15,000 down votes for its Comic-Con trailer. Even "The Fantastic Four," one of the biggest bombs of 2015, has more likes than dislikes. The new Nina Simone biopic, which has been controversial for featuring Zoe Saldana in skin-darkening make-up, has more likes than dislikes at its "official" trailer at Fandango's Movieclips channel, but more dislikes in another, unofficial one that's been viewed more times.
Here's a visual showing a selection of trailers for upcoming movies:
So what gives? Well, the new "Ghostbusters" peek is not perfect. Stealing a line like "that's gonna leave a mark" from "Tommy Boy" feels lazy. And some are discouraged, if not outraged, over Leslie Jones's casting as a street-wise MTA worker.
Couldn’t Leslie Jones have been one of the scientists, though? I’m just saying.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 3, 2016
But all of that is burying the lead. You don't have to look very far into the comments on the trailer to understand why people have made a sport of flocking to YouTube to cast a vote. Aside from the vague proclamations that director Paul Feig has just destroyed a classic film and countless childhoods, many of the comments are variations on a theme. Some examples:
- “Women are just incapable of being funny. What a terrible idea.”
- “Feminists ruin the world.”
- “Shouldn’t they be in the kitchen?”
- “Did this just become a chick flick?”
- “I’ll call the real Ghostbusters instead”
- “Congrats Sony, you’ve killed another beloved franchise. ‘I know! We’ll get a bunch of unfunny comedic nobodies and put them together in an even more childish and immature version of an already childish and immature comedy! We’ll sell it to Social Justice Warriors and feminists, since they control SUCH A LARGE PORTION OF THE SERIES DEMOGRAPHIC. What could possibly go wrong?!'”
And now that the dislikes are rising, it's become a game. Doubters want to know just how high the number can go — and they're accusing Sony of deleting comments and altering the stats.
So what does this mean for the "Ghostbusters" box office? Well, if the reaction to YouTube trailers has taught us anything, it's that there's no correlation. Just look at what happened to "Gods of Egypt."