It’s rare for a film that was released in the month of June to be talked about as a Christmas film, but Ghostbusters 2 is an exception.
Released the 16th June 1989 the sequel to the 1984 hit comedy Ghostbusters was expected to be one of the big films that summer; whilst not savage reviews at the time were average at best. Its box office returns were similar to its predecessor, but its budget was twice that of the 1984 film. This led many to consider the film both a critical and commercial failure.
So how is this comedy realised to be a summer box office smash a Christmas film?
First off the time of year it’s set. The exact date and timeline is never revealed, but considering that it concludes with the New Year being celebrated, we can assume that it’s set in that awkward week between Christmas and New Year. Christmas is not mentioned throughout with New Year only cropping up to make the finale make sense. The only references throughout the movie are the Christmas decorations that decorate any room, except Peter’s apartment.
Secondly it was meant to be a Christmas film. During the writing phase Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd had envisioned the seconded instalment to be a holiday film. Due to prolonged arguments with the studio over budget that film was rewritten a number of times. By the time the finances had been agreed Ghostbusters 2 had gone through a few rewrites and in fact was still going through one. By this time most of the references to Christmas had been removed. Both writers did like the idea of the New Year bring hope and positivity to people, so left this along the setting in the movie.
Much like Lethal Weapon Ghostbusters 2 is unfairly overlooked by many looking for an alternative watch at Christmas. Much like the Mel Gibson vehicle an argument could be made that it’s a film set during the holiday period and not a Christmas film. The same arguments could also be hurled at the first two Die Hard’s or Gremlins. In the end it’s up to you to have you own opinion on the question ‘is Ghostbusters 2 a Christmas film?’