I thought we were past this but apparently not. Now that Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters film is coming to digital and Blu-ray next month, reports have started to circulate that the title has suddenly been changed. This isn’t true—mainly because the film’s real title was Ghostbusters: Answer the Call even before it was released.
If you saw the film in theaters, you may have noticed the end credits clearly refer to the movie as Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. And there’s a very simple explanation.
“It was basically the studio realizing for the video catalogs, and that kind of thing, [there would be] two Ghostbusters. And I didn’t want to make it like 2016,” director Paul Feig told io9 earlier this summer. “That sounded like Airport ‘77. The next year, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s an old movie.’ I didn’t want to have to anchor with that, so they basically said they liked [Answer the Call].”
(Admittedly, the movie only says “Ghostbusters” at the beginning, but that was because of a request by Feig. “I just said, ‘Don’t put it on the front of the movie. If you put it on the end, I don’t care,’” he told us.)
Reitman corroborates the studio’s decision. “[The title’s] just to differentiate it,” he said. “First of all, the 1984 movie is out there all the time. It’s on television every day. And it’s even in movie theaters, so the studio felt it needed some kind of subtitle to differentiate the versions.”
If it makes people feel better, “Answer the Call” wasn’t always part of the film’s title; early marketing materials just called the film Ghostbusters. But as the release got closer, it was quietly changed by the studio and started showing up in commercials and posters.
So, that’s that. There’s no conspiracy theory. The movie has been and is still called Ghostbusters: Answer the Call for cataloging purposes. That doesn’t mean we have to call it that. You don’t call Raiders of the Lost Ark by its official title, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, right? You don’t call Birdman it’s full name Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) every time, right? This kind of thing happens.