Ghostbusters timeline

With Ghostbusters 3 filming in 2015, it’s time to look back at the long, strange journey that this franchise has taken over the years!

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1984: Ghostbusters

The quirky “supernatural comedy” of a trio (later a quartet) of scientists who go into the blue-collar field of ghost extermination was a smash hit at the box office and quickly became one of the most popular films of the 80s.  It made $291 million worldwide, got two Oscar nominations, and its theme song spawned a number one hit on Billboard’s Top 40 for three weeks in a row.

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1986: The Real Ghostbusters

The animated TV adventures of the Ghostbusters required some tweaking from the film, including a name change (to avoid conflicting with an older, non-related Ghostbusters show), a reworking of the team’s looks (to avoid paying royalties to the actors), and new voice actors (including Arsenio Hall).  Even so, it was a terrific show that had a long run and greatly expanded the concepts from the movie.

1988: Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters

In season 3, the animated series was rebranded to shove Slimer in our faces.  The show expanded into an hour runtime, with half of that given to a Slimer spin-off and the other half to the regular format.

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1989: Ghostbusters II

1989 was probably the busiest movie season of the decade and while the much-anticipated sequel to Ghostbusters didn’t do quite as well financially or critically, it was still a hit and held its own against the competition.  Ghostbusters II saw the team come back from semi-retirement as a new threat in the form of “mood slime” started plaguing the city.  The team got new gear, a worse theme song, and a bigger budget for ghostbusting effects.

1991: The Real Ghostbusters is cancelled

After six seasons and 147 episodes, The Real Ghostbusters is cancelled.

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1997: Extreme Ghostbusters debuts

A follow-up to the Real Ghostbusters series, Extreme Ghostbusters took its cues from both the original and the pop culture trends of the time.  In the show, Egon forms a new team of younger Ghostbusters that included a paraplegic athlete and a goth.  Both Janine and Slimer returned for the ride, but Extreme Ghostbusters didn’t take off the way the first series did and only lasted for a single, 40-episode season.  The show did go out with a bang, bringing back the original Ghostbusters for a two-parter.

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2009: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

While there have been several Ghostbusters video games over the years, this one is perhaps the most notable in that it reunited the many of the actors and writers from the original films.  Players take on the role of a fifth Ghostbuster who trails along with the team in 1991 as they investigate a new disturbance that has ties to the events of the two movies.  Dan Aykroyd said that this was a de facto third film.

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2015: Filming begins for Ghostbusters III

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