With mini Stay-Puft Marshmellow men, the return of the original ghost-bustin’ gang, and the addition of national treasures Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is promising a lot to love. Which means, understandably, you’re probably going to want to watch it as soon as possible – after all, it’s a universal truth that bustin’ makes you feel good.
But with the rise of studio-owned streaming services and COVID-era distribution shakeups, it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of what’s delayed, what’s streaming, and what’s in theaters. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with a handy guide to when (and where) you can watch Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Editor’s Note: This post was last updated on November 25 with opening weekend box office information.
When Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife in Theaters?
At long last, the new Ghostbusters movie has a release date that’s gonna stick. The movie arrives exclusively in theaters on Friday, November 19. The film significantly overperformed at the box office in its opening weekend, taking home $44 million, well ahead of its project $30 million debut.
Afterlife was originally scheduled to arrive in theaters nearly a year-and-a-half ago on July 10, 2020, before being delayed a whopping four times amidst the pandemic release date shuffle. But the wait is finally, really over. Ghostbusters: Afterlife will release nationwide in the U.S. on November 19. If you’re looking for showtimes and tickets near you, head over to the official ticketing website. The studio has set up a helpful interphase that shows you which local theaters are playing Afterlife, along with ticket vendor options for each showtime.
And as always, stay safe and be sure to check the current COVID safety guidelines in your state and policies at your theater of choice before you book your tickets.
Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife Available to Watch on Streaming?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is not currently available to watch on streaming, but bookmark this page, because we’ll update this space with streaming details when they’re announced.
While some competitor studios including Warner Bros., Disney, and Paramount have embraced the hybrid streaming and theatrical release strategy in 2021, Sony has mostly maintained exclusive theatrical releases for their major titles, including Afterlife. The film arrives in theaters only on November 19, and based on Sony’s recent release models, it’s probably going to be a while before it arrives on streaming.
Sony is also an outlier among most of the major studios these days because they don’t have an in-house streaming service, which means they’ve been able to sign some major streaming distribution deals for their films. Right now, Sony is in the last stretch of a 2017-2021 first-pay window deal with Starz (Netflix takes over that window in 2022), which means that when Ghostbusters: Afterlife arrives on streaming, it will probably be on Starz first.
Is It Available to Rent or Buy on PVOD or Blu-Ray?
Ghostbusters Afterlife is not available to rent or buy on PVOD, Blu-ray, or DVD – yet. With the film just now arriving as a theatrical exclusive, Sony has not yet announced any home video release details.
Sony doesn’t have an established window policy, but they are firmly committed to preserving the theatrical window. Sony Motion Picture Group President Josh Greenstein minced no words during Sony’s presentation at CinemaCon, telling the crowd “Debuting movies simultaneously in theaters and at home is devastating to our collective businesses…Our movies will be seen exclusive first in our movie theaters,” said Greenstein. He continued, even more bluntly, “It’s the window, stupid!”
So yes, you can expect a wait before the new Ghostbusters movie is available to watch at home, and we don’t have an exact date yet. What we can do is look at their recent releases to get a sense of what their windows are looking like.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage was released exclusively in theaters on October 8, and arrives on Digital on November 23, followed by 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on December 14. Don’t Breathe 2 arrived in theaters on August 13 before heading to Digital on October 10 and 4K, Blu-Ray and DVD on October 26. Peter Rabbit 2 hit theaters on June 11, Digital on July 27, and physical on August 24. Looking at those dates, Sony has been working with a 6-8 week window before Digital and about 10 weeks before Blu-ray and DVD.
Are the Other Ghostbusters Movies Streaming Anywhere?
Sorry to be the bearer of more bad streaming news, but the original Ghostbusters movies and the 2016 remake are also not available on any streaming services at the moment.
However, all of the Ghostbusters movies are available to watch online via rent or purchase, with rentals starting at $3.99 and purchases starting at $9.99 on most major Digital providers.
Additionally, if you’ve just gotta bust some ghosts on streaming, 56 episodes of the delightful animated series The Real Ghostbusters are streaming free on Crackle right now, and 15 episodes are available to watch on the official Ghostbusters YouTube channel. That same channel also has 10 episodes of the subsequent animated series Extreme Ghostbusters.
Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife a Sequel to the Original Movies?
Indeed, it is! Set about 30 years after the events of Ghostbusters II, Afterlife follows Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon), daughter of the late Harold Ramis‘ beloved character Egon Spengler, and her kids Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) when they discover their family’s surprising legacy – and learn to how to embrace it when their small town gets overrun with pesky paranormal activity.
The film itself is also a family affair. Produced by original director Ivan Reitman and directed by Juno and The Frontrunner filmmaker Jason Reitman (his son), Afterlife also promises the return of several franchise mainstays, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts – and some reinvented versions of fan-favorite ghosts too.
Here’s the official synopsis:
From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman.
“Heat ’em up!”
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