Ghostbusters II

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Ghostbusters II
Ghostbusters ii poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byIvan Reitman
Produced byIvan Reitman
Written by
Music byRandy Edelman
CinematographyMichael Chapman
Edited by
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 16, 1989 (1989-06-16)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$37 million[citation needed]
Box office$215.4 million[1]

Ghostbusters II is a 1989 American supernatural comedy film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and starring Bill Murray, Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Rick Moranis. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters, and follows the further adventures of the three parapsychologists and their organization that combats paranormal activities.

Despite generally mixed reviews from critics, the film grossed $112.5 million in the United States and $215.4 million worldwide, becoming the eighth-highest-grossing film of 1989.


After saving New York City from the demi-god Gozer, the Ghostbusters—Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore—are sued for the property damage they caused, and barred from investigating the supernatural, forcing them out of business. Five years later, Ray owns an occult bookstore and works as an unpopular children's entertainer with Winston, Egon works in a laboratory conducting experiments into human emotion, and Peter hosts a pseudo-psychic television show. Peter's former girlfriend Dana Barrett has had a son, Oscar, with an ex-husband, and works at the "Manhattan Museum of Art". After an incident in which Oscar's baby carriage is controlled by an unseen force and drawn to a busy intersection, Dana turns to the Ghostbusters for help. Meanwhile, Dana's colleague and boss Dr. Janosz Poha is indoctrinated by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian, a powerful legendary sixteenth-century tyrant and magician trapped in a painting in the gallery. Vigo orders Dr. Poha to locate a child that Vigo can possess, allowing him to return to life on the New Year.

The Ghostbusters' investigation leads them to illegally excavate First Avenue at the point where the baby carriage stopped. Lowered underneath, Ray discovers a river of pink slime filling the abandoned Beach Pneumatic Transit line. Attacked by the slime after obtaining a sample, Ray accidentally causes a citywide blackout, and the Ghostbusters are arrested. They are found guilty of investigating the supernatural, but before they can be taken away, the slime taken as evidence reacts to the judge's angry outburst and explodes, releasing two ghosts who were murderers that the judge had executed that proceed to devastate the courtroom. The Ghostbusters imprison the ghosts in exchange for the restraining order being rescinded and that they be allowed to resume their Ghostbusting business.

Later, the slime invades Dana's apartment and attacks her and Oscar. She seeks refuge with Peter, and the two begin to renew their relationship. Investigating the slime and Vigo's history, the Ghostbusters discover that the slime reacts to emotions, and suspect that it has been generated by the negative attitudes of New Yorkers. While Peter and Dana have dinner together, Egon, Ray, and Winston explore the underground river of slime. While measuring the depth, Winston gets pulled into the flowing river, and Ray and Egon jump in after him. After they escape back to the surface Ray and Winston begin arguing, but Egon realizes that they are being influenced by the slime, so they strip off their clothes. They also learn the river is flowing directly to the museum.

The Ghostbusters go to the mayor with their suspicions, but are dismissed; the mayor's assistant, Jack Hardemeyer, has them committed to a psychiatric hospital to protect the mayor's interests as he runs for governor. Meanwhile, a spirit resembling Janosz kidnaps Oscar from Peter's apartment, and Dana pursues them to the museum alone. After she enters, the museum is covered with a barrier of impenetrable slime.

New Year's Eve sees a sudden increase of supernatural activity as the slime rises from the subway line and onto the city streets, causing widespread paranormal activity with ghosts attacking citizens. In response, the mayor fires Hardemeyer and has the Ghostbusters released. After heading to the museum, they are unable to breach the power of the slime barrier with their proton packs. Determining that they need a symbol of powerful positivity to rally the citizens and weaken the slime, the Ghostbusters use positively-charged mood slime, and a remix of "Higher and Higher" to animate the Statue of Liberty and pilot it through the streets before the cheering populace. As they arrive at the museum, the slime begins to recede and they use the Statue's torch to break through the museum's ceiling to attack Vigo and Janosz.

Janosz is neutralized with positively-charged slime, but Vigo immobilizes the Ghostbusters and attempts a transfer into Oscar's body. A chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" by the citizens outside weakens Vigo, returning him to the painting and freeing the Ghostbusters. Vigo momentarily possesses Ray, and the other Ghostbusters attack him with a combination of proton streams and positively-charged mood slime. Dressed in full Ghostbusters attire, Louis attacks the weakened slime barrier around the building with a proton stream of his own. This combination destroys Vigo and changes the painting to a likeness of the four Ghostbusters standing protectively around Oscar. Outside, the Ghostbusters receive a standing ovation from the crowd and, at a later ceremony to restore the Statue, the Key to the City from the mayor.


Some notable cast members in the film include one of Bill Murray's siblings, Brian Doyle-Murray, who played the psychiatric doctor, Dan Aykroyd's niece, Karen Humber, who played one of the school children, and Ben Stein, who played a public works official for the mayor. Jason Reitman, son of director Ivan Reitman, plays the boy who insults the Ghostbusters at a birthday party. Cheech Marin is the dock supervisor who witnesses the arrival of the Titanic, and Philip Baker Hall is the city police chief. Bobby Brown is the doorman to Gracie Mansion when the Ghostbusters go to see the mayor of New York City (also performing on the soundtrack). The physical role of Vigo was played by Wilhelm von Homburg, and his dialog was dubbed by Max von Sydow.



After the success of the first film and the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures pressed the producers to make a sequel.[2] Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman were uncomfortable with this, as the original film was intended to be conclusive and they wished to work on other projects. Eventually, they agreed and created a script.[3]


Box office[edit]

At its release, Ghostbusters II was the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history with $29.5 million,[4] a record that was broken one week later by Batman ($40.5 million).[5] Ghostbusters II eventually grossed $112.4 million in North America and $102.9 million internationally for a total of $215.3 million worldwide.[6]

Critical response[edit]

The film received an approval rating of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 38 reviews.[7] Variety said the film had amusing visuals and a clever plot.[8]

On their show, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the picture two thumbs down, disappointed that the film did not try anything new and like many sequels, merely re-treated the first film. Siskel stated "The film contains little comic invention. It looks as if the filmmakers, particularly the writers, simply didn't try to do anything special. As if they simply filmed the first draft." Ebert stated that he saw the movie in a theater in Michigan and out of a packed house, there was only one laugh.[9] Murray remarked how disappointed he was with it all as "Those special-effects guys took over. It was too much of the slime and not enough of us."[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

Ghostbusters II was released on DVD on March 14, 2006. It was released on Blu-Ray on September 16, 2014, followed by a 4K UHD Blu-Ray release on June 7, 2016.[10]


A great deal of merchandise (such as coloring books) came out with the release of this film. As was the case with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon, the makers of this material may have wanted to avoid likeness fees and as a result, the main characters in these bear little resemblance to any other version of the characters.

As a tie-in with the release of the movie, approximately 3,100 Hardee’s fast food restaurants offered a kids meal-deal that included a toy called the "Ghostblaster", a small noisemaker embossed with the movie’s signature logo on one side and made different sounds when one of two buttons were activated. However, officials at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed that the toy posed a potential choking hazard to small children because the toy was operated with small watch-sized batteries and recalled at least 2 million units.

Comic book adaptation[edit]

During this period, The Real Ghostbusters comic book produced by NOW Comics ran a three-part adaptation of the film, using the cartoon character designs instead of the likenesses of the actors. The overall story received minor alterations to run as a three-part series, and includes several scenes that were in the shooting script but were not included in the released movie. An example is a scene set after their first visit at the museum (and Ray's first encounter with Vigo). In this scene, Ray is momentarily possessed while driving the Ecto-1A, and as a result tries to crash the car and kill the Ghostbusters. They soon bring Ray around to his senses after speeding through New York streets, and he apologizes, unable to account for his actions. They never connect it to Vigo since, while possessed, Ray never mentions him. The comic panels further reinforce the movie's scene where Ray is briefly hypnotized by Vigo (leading to him being chosen as a host at the end).

Video games[edit]


Ghostbusters II
Soundtrack album by various artists
GenreNew jack swing,[11][12] R&B,[12] rap[12]
Ghostbusters soundtrack chronology
Ghostbusters II
Singles from Ghostbusters II
  1. "On Our Own"
    Released: May 1989
  2. "Ghostbusters"
    Released: July 12, 1989
Original Soundtrack Album[13]
1."On Our Own"L.A. Reid, Babyface, Daryl Simmons[14][15]Bobby Brown4:54
2."Supernatural"Jellybean Johnson, Jimmy Jam and Terry LewisNew Edition4:34
3."The Promised Land"Bobby Caldwell, Paul GordonJames "J.T." Taylor4:17
4."We're Back"Bobby Brown, Dennis Austin, Larry White, Kirk Crumple OriginalBobby Brown5:10
5."Spirit"Doug E. Fresh, Bernard WrightDoug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew5:03
6."Ghostbusters"Ray Parker, Jr.Run-D.M.C.4:10
7."Flesh 'N Blood"Danny ElfmanOingo Boingo4:17
8."Love is a Cannibal"Elton John, Bernie TaupinElton John3:54
9."Flip City"Glenn Frey, Hawk WolinskiGlenn Frey5:12
10."Higher and Higher"Gary Jackson, Carl Smith, Raynard MinerHoward Huntsberry4:09
Total length:45:40

The film also features the original versions of "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. and "Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson, though neither appears on the soundtrack album.

The album was made available in digital form on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

Cancelled sequel and reboot[edit]

In 1999, Dan Aykroyd wrote a script for a possible third film, titled Ghostbusters III: Hellbent.[16] In a 2004 interview, Bill Murray stated that he didn't want to appear in a potential third installment and for that reason, the cast considered replacing him with Ben Stiller.[17][18]

In 2014, after Harold Ramis's death, Ivan Reitman abandoned the project.[19] Film directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were in talks to direct the film, but passed on the project, leading to its cancellation.[20] In August 2014, Paul Feig revealed that he was in talks to direct a third film in the franchise, but with women in the lead roles.[21] He later revealed that the film will be a reboot and not a sequel for Ghostbusters II. The rebooted Ghostbusters was released on July 15, 2016.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ghostbusters II (1989)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  2. ^ Park, Jeannie (1988-12-25). "FILM; Slime? Don't Worry! The Ghostbusters Are Back". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  3. ^ Klady, Leonard (1987-05-17). "Ghostly Movie". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  4. ^ Puig, Claudia (1989-06-20). "Record-Busting Opening for 'Ghostbusters II". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  5. ^ "Batman Sets Record And So Does Hollywood". The New York Times. 1989-06-27. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  6. ^ Dick, Bernard F. (1992) "Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio" (p. 51). The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1769-0.
  7. ^ "Ghostbusters II (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  8. ^ "Ghostbusters II". Variety. 1988-12-31. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  9. ^ Murphy, Jim. "Batman/Honey, I Shrunk the Kids/Tummy Trouble/Ghostbusters II/Kung-Fu Master!" (June 24, 1989). Television: Siskel & Ebert. Burbank: Buena Vista Television.
  10. ^ "Ghostbusters II DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
  11. ^ Patrin, Nate (June 30, 2016). "Something Strange Indeed: The Music of Ghostbusters". Stereogum. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c Heaney, Gregory. "Original Soundtrack – Ghostbusters II". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  13. ^ Ghostbusters II – Original Soundtrack at AllMusic
  14. ^ "Bobby Brown: On Our Own (1989)", 80s Music Channel, October 1, 2008, retrieved January 10, 2009.
  15. ^ Grein, Paul; Goldstein, Patrick (1989-04-09). "Ghostbusters Sequel: The red-hot Bobby Brown, coming off..." The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  16. ^ Van Camp, Jeffrey (December 29, 2009). "Could Ghostbusters 3 Start Filming This Summer?". Collider. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  17. ^ Setoodeh, Ramin (October 14, 2014). "'Ghostbusters' Reboot: Will Bill Murray Return in Smaller Role?". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  18. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (February 4, 2015). "The Strange History of the Ghostbusters Reboot". IGN. Ziff-Davis, LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  19. ^ Reed, Ryan (March 19, 2014). "Director Ivan Reitman Backs Out of 'Ghostbusters' Sequel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  20. ^ "Twitter / NikkiFinke: Hot duo to direct #Ghostbusters3? ..." Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  21. ^ Whitney, Erin (August 2, 2014). "Paul Feig Reportedly In Talks To Direct Female-Centered 'Ghostbusters' Reboot". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2014.

External links[edit]