The marketing campaign for a movie is usually a predictable one - Approximately six months before theatrical release a teaser is premiered, immediately followed by the movie's first trailer, with subsequent trailers following in monthly intervals. During this period interviews with well-established media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, Variety and Empire are released, each slowly releasing small snippets of new information to keep fans and audiences enticed. Then as the movie nears its release date the trailers make way for featurettes and clips, with a barrage of TV spots making up the remaining one-two months before release. Finally, a press screening for those privileged few media outlets along with a star-studded, red carpet premiere and then the movie opens up to the general public.
The Ghostbusters reboot, however, has not pertained to this method of marketing, instead choosing to make headlines from the battle of wits that has ensued between Ghostbusters angry fans and the reboots director Paul Feig, his star Melissa McCarthy and now his co-writer Katie Dippold. A battle that has seen each side accuse the other of sexism, racism, and elitism. Yet, according to The Hollywood Reporter the chairman at Sony Pictures Entertainment Tom Rothman is relishing all of the press that the negativity towards the movie is generating...
“It’s the greatest thing that ever happened. Are you kidding me? We’re in the national debate, thank you... Can we please get some more haters to say stupid things?”
While it is clear that Rothman is subscribing to the principals of the old adage "there is no such thing as bad publicity", today's digital world has all but proven that saying as no longer relevant, with audiences able to access all of the bad publicity that has circled this movie since it's announcement back in August 2014 with just a few taps and swipes on the screen of their mobile phones. With such instant access and subsequently exposure to an overwhelming amount of negativity towards a single movie across virtually every corner of the internet such as news sites, forums, social media and YouTube the failure of Paul Feig's reboot is all but a foregone conclusion. The only thing that can truly save this reboot from bombing spectacularly at the box office is an overwhelmingly positive response from critics at a press screening of the movie, but with such overwhelming negativity associated with the movie will Sony Pictures Entertainment take that risk?
Tom Rothman became the chairman at Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2015 following the dismissal of the former Chairperson Amy Pascal after emails leaked in the Sony Hacking Scandal in 2014 revealed that not only had Pascal mismanaged the studio but had also made racist and derogatory comments about the US President Barrack Obama. Before replacing Pascal Rothman had held the same position over at 20th Century Fox for 18 years since 1994 up until his resignation in late 2012. His disdain for comic book movies such as the X-Men movies and The Fantastic Four had caused friction with regular X-Men director Bryan Singer. While at Fox, Rothman had also worked with James Cameron on the record-breaking Titanic and Avatar movies and founded Fox Searchlight, which funded and distributed independent and British movies for Fox. From 2013 until 2015 Rothman had held the same position at Tri-Star Pictures, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures.