Ghostbusters (also known as Ghostbusters: Answer the Call) is a 2016 Australian-American supernatural comedy movie. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures in the United States and by Sony Pictures Releasing internationally. It was directed by Paul Feig. It stars Kristen Wig as Erin Gilbert, Melissa McCarthy as Abby Yates, Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann, Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan, Chris Hemsworth as Kevin Beckman and Neil Casey as Rowan North. Bill Murray, one of the stars of the 1984 film Ghostbusters, appears as the paranormal debunker Martin Heiss. Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts, who also star in the 1984 film, make brief cameos in the 2016 Ghostbusters.
Although it is not a straight remake of the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, the 2016 film Ghostbusters has a somewhat similar plot. It tells the story of how three female scientists Erin, Abby and Jillian, lose their jobs at colleges in New York City as a result of publicly declaring their belief in ghosts. They then hire themselves out as paranormal investigators, hoping to capture a ghost so that they can further study it. They employ a good-looking but rather inept and eccentric young man named Kevin as a receptionist. A fourth woman, an African-American named Patty, decides to join the three scientists after she sees them attempt to capture a ghost that haunts the subway station where she works. The four women become collectively known as the Ghostbusters. They discover that the reason why there has suddenly been so much paranormal activity in New York is because a man named Rowan North with an interest in the occult has been summoning them.
The film was generally well received by critics. It has a 73% fresh rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes. It did not, however, perform as well as had been expected at the box office. The movie grossed $229,100,000 worldwide. It was made on a budget of $144,000,000 but a large amount of additional money was spent on its marketing, meaning that the film needed to gross at least $300,000,000 in order to break even. The film's disappointing box office performance means that it is unlikely that a direct sequel to it will be made. It is likely, however, that the Ghostbusters franchise will continue in some form.
Ghostbusters was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for some crude humor and scenes of supernatural action.
Erin Gilbert teaches physics at Columbia University. She expects to be granted tenure there soon. Several years earlier, she co-wrote a book about the existence of ghosts with her friend and colleague Abby Yates. As a serious scientist, Erin is now embarrassed by that book and denies having written it.
The owner of the Aldridge Mansion, a 19th century New York City house that has been converted into a museum, approaches Erin at Columbia University. He wants her help because he believes that the museum is haunted. Erin is shocked to find out from the man that the book about ghosts that she co-authored with Abby Yates has been re-published. To ask her to remove the book from publication, Erin goes to see her old friend and former colleague. Abby is now teaching at a technical college called the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute and investigating the paranormal with an eccentric engineer named Jillian Holtzmann. Abby and Jillian are both excited to hear about the haunting at the Aldridge Mansion. They and Erin go to the building together.
At the Aldridge Mansion, a ghost appears and vomits slimy ectoplasm all over Erin. In spite of that unpleasant occurrence, Erin is delighted to discover that ghosts truly exist. After a video of her happily saying that ghosts are real is posted online, Erin is fired from Columbia University. Abby says that Erin will probably be able to join her at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute. The college, however, has recently been taken over by a new director who decides to shut down the paranormal investigation department. As a result, Abby and Jillian also lose their jobs.
Erin, Abby and Jillian decide to set themselves up as independent paranormal investigators for hire. They want to capture a ghost so that they can study it scientifically. When the rent for a former fire station proves too expensive for them, the three women rent an office above a Chinese restaurant. They hire a handsome but rather odd and dimwitted man named Kevin Beckman as their receptionist. The women initially call their group Conductors of the Metaphysical Examination. The media, however, soon dubs them the Ghostbusters. Although the women do not like that name at first, they come to embrace it.
Patty Tolan, who works at a New York City subway station, approaches Abby, Erin and Jillian for help after she sees a ghost. Although the three women fail to capture the ghost, Patty decides that she wants to join them. She says that she can help them because she has a good knowledge of New York's history and knows the city well. She is also able to borrow a car from her uncle that the team can use. It is revealed that Patty's uncle is an undertaker and the car is a hearse. The hearse is converted into the Ghostbusters' vehicle, Ecto 1.
The Ghostbusters succeed in capturing a ghost that looks like a winged demon. They do this in front of a large audience at a heavy metal music festival in a historic theater. The Ghostbusters are then visited by Dr. Martin Heiss, a well-known debunker of the paranormal. In order to prove to him that she and the other Ghostbusters are not frauds, Erin releases the captured ghost in front of Dr. Heiss. The ghost then throws Dr. Heiss out of a window. While the Ghostbusters are being questioned by the police about that incident, two men from the Department of Homeland Security arrive and take the four women away.
Abby, Erin, Jillian and Patty are taken to see the mayor. It is revealed that the mayor's office and the Department of Homeland Security are aware of an increase in supernatural activity in New York City. The Ghostbusters are thanked for what they have done but told that they have to disband in order to prevent public panic. The mayor says that he will have to publicly denounce the Ghostbusters as frauds if they continue to operate.
The sudden increase in paranormal activity in New York City is due to an occultist named Rowan North. He has built machines to summon ghosts in the hope of bringing about the end of the world. The Ghostbusters find out that Rowan has been planting devices to summon ghosts along ley lines. The ley lines intersect at the Mercado Hotel in Times Square where Rowan works. On arrival at the hotel, the Ghostbusters find Rowan in the basement building a portal to the ghost dimension. Rowan commits suicide by electrocuting himself. Among Rowan's possessions, Erin finds a copy of the book about ghosts that she co-wrote with Abby. Looking at the notes and drawings that Rowan added to the book, Erin realizes that he killed himself so that he could return as a powerful ghost and lead a spirit army.
Rowan returns as a ghost and takes possession of the Ghostbusters' receptionist Kevin. He then opens the portal and releases hundreds of ghosts. Although the problem proves too much for the police and the Department of Homeland Security to cope with, the Ghostbusters are able to fight their way through the army of ghosts and reach the portal. Rowan then takes the form of the cartoon ghost from the Ghostbusters' logo, grows to an enormous size and starts to attack the city. The Ghostbusters manage to close the portal and send all the ghosts back to their own dimension.
To thank them for saving the city, the mayor's office starts to secretly fund the Ghostbusters while still publicly denouncing them as frauds. The extra funding allows the four women to take over the former fire station as their new headquarters.
In a post-credits sequence, Patty listens to a recording of a ghostly voice and then asks the other team members if they have heard of Zuul.