Whether you grew up in the ’80s, the noughties, or anywhere in between; you’ll have heard of Ghostbusters. The original movie was released over four decades ago, but every generation alive today can recount the iconic “Who you gonna call?” theme tune from the timeless supernatural fantasy film.

Ghostbusters may have started out as a small-budget production, but it has grown to become much more than just a movie; it’s become a franchise. And the Ghostbusters franchise is still very much alive and growing today.

Ghostbusters: a classic that remains contemporary

When Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis wrote Ghostbusters in 1983, they had no idea that their film would go down in box office history.

The supernatural fantasy was based around Akyroyd’s family history and his grandfather’s work as a nineteenth-century psychic investigator. Akyroyd took his ancestor’s real-life tales of séances and supernatural encounters, reworked and dramatized them, and Ghostbusters was born; the first-ever comedy film to use special effects.

The film’s use of practical effects and puppetry was ahead of its time and brought the iconic battle between evil ghosts and comedic team of parapsychologists to life – captivating audiences worldwide and laying down the foundation for what would become a movie phenonium.

Special effects may have improved in the years since the initial release of Ghostbusters, but Aykroyd’s ghouls remain the face of the paranormal world. The heroes and villains from Ghostbusters have become their own franchise; proton packs and Stay Puft marshmallow men are all over comic books, clothing, and theme park attraction rides across the world and are loved by the old and young alike.

New films and tv shows are continually being added to the Ghostbusters franchise, keeping the supernatural-fantasy’s fandom alive. The Ghostbusters story has even been adapted into video games and you’ll even find a themed games among these NJ online slots, so diehard fans can experience the supernatural realm on a new interactive level and immerse themselves in their own ghost-busting gameplay.

An unexpected success story

It’s hard to imagine, but when the multi-million Ghostbusters franchise was first pitched to Columbia Pictures in 1984, the project was met by skepticism.

Directors and producers raised concern about how much the film would cost to make and predicted Ghostbusters wouldn’t fare well at the box office. The film was made on a strict budget of $30 million, and filming was completed in just four months – with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson stepping into the shoes of the four lead characters (Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore respectively).

No one – not even the cast or directors – were prepared for what came next. When it premiered in June 1984, Ghostbusters became an overnight sensation.

In its opening weekend, the first Ghostbusters movie made $13,612,564 in North American theatres alone. It ranked as the number one film of the weekend, ahead of Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The film was acclaimed by audiences and critics alike and by the end of its first week, Ghostbusters had made a record-breaking $23.1 million.

The first Ghostbusters film was a huge success and remains the bestselling film in the franchise. But Ghostbusters isn’t about to take its final bow yet; the supernatural franchise has reinvented itself across platforms and continents to keep the ghostbusting brand alive.

From the big screen to the TV screen

The Ghostbusters franchise has grown and evolved over the years, but film and motion picture remain at its heart.

Two films followed the original movie: Ghostbusters II (1989) and Ghostbusters (2016). A new sequel, Ghostbusters Afterlife, is set to be released in 2021. The fourth film is highly anticipated by both fans and film connoisseurs and teases a star-studded cast and original plot.

The laughs and thrills of the timeless Ghostbusters story aren’t withheld for cinemagoers; several tv shows and documentaries have joined the franchise while Aykroyd’s brainchild has taken a break from the silver screen.

Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters came out in 2019 (2020 for UK audiences), and the documentary is highly recommended to Ghostbusters superfans looking to get their fix of behind-the-scene interviews with directors and original cast members. Even without new material, Ghostbusters continues to grip its existing fans and entice new ones.

The future of Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters’ originality and charm hooked audiences back in 1984, where lovable characters and before-the-times special effects wowed critics and packed out box offices. But it’s the story’s ability to still captivate an audience more than forty years later that’s a real testament to Ghostbusters’ status as one of the best movies of all time.

Ghostbusters has become much more than a film; it’s a comic, a form of gaming entertainment, an animated tv show – it’s a franchise that refuses to be forgotten.