‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Iced Out Box Office Competition With $45 Million Debut

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (Credit: Sony Pictures)

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire cast a spell at the weekend box office with an estimated $45.2 million debut.

The Sony Pictures release opened in first place after taking in $16.0 million on Friday, $16.8 million on Saturday and a projected $12.3 million on Sunday from 4,345 locations, according to box office tracking company Comscore.

That bested the $44 million debut of Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), and it pushed the franchise’s total past $1 billion at the worldwide box office this weekend.

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The new film, which is a follow-up to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, stars Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, Celeste O’Connor, and Logan Kim, alongside Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts from the original 1984 film.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is directed by Gil Kenan and co-written by Kenan and Jason Reitman, the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman.

In this latest installment of the rebooted Ghostbusters saga, the Spengler family returns to where it all started — the iconic New York City firehouse — to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who’ve developed a top-secret research lab to take busting ghosts to the next level. When an ancient artifact unleashes an army of ghosts that cast a death chill on the city, Ghostbusters from the past and present join forces to save the world from a second Ice Age.

Audiences gave the new film a “B+” CinemaScore, signaling they liked it.

Critics weren’t exactly sold and handed it a 43 percent score out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus saying “a crowded cast and surprisingly serious tone prevent this sequel from truly sparking.”

Elsewhere this weekend at the box office, Dune: Part Two came in second place with $17.6 million, Comscore reported. That brought the film’s four-week domestic total through Sunday of $233.3 million.

Kung Fu Panda 4 slipped to third place with $16.8 million Friday through Sunday. After three weeks, the family film has made $133.2 million.

The horror thriller Immaculate starring Sydney Sweeney opened in fourth place with $5.3 million.

Arthur the King, which stars Mark Wahlberg as an adventure racer who befriends a stray dog, rounded out the top five with $4.3 million in its second weekend for a two-week total of $14.6 million.

Year to date, the domestic box office stands at $1.4 billion through Sunday, down 9 percent from this time in 2023.

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