It’s a reboot of one of the world’s most beloved movies starring two of the world’s most beloved stars, Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig – what’s not like? But the reaction to the new Ghostbusters trailer has been a resounding THUD. In fact, since its release early last month, it’s quickly garnered the distinction of being the MOST DISLIKED MOVIE TRAILER IN YOUTUBE HISTORY!
The Ghostbusters trailer currently has 507,610 dislikes on YouTube. To put that in perspective, the Fantastic Four trailer from last year has only 20,175 dislikes. The Ridiculous Six trailer, which has an impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, has only 5,803 dislikes. Could Ghostbusters be that much worse than either of those two movies? It’s seems unlikely knowing what we know about both Fantastic Four and Ridiculous Six. What is actually happening is that a certain subset of people on the internet have an unhealthy fixation with hating on the Ghostbusters remake and are teaming up to downvote it into oblivion.
Consider some of the rest of the videos on this playlist, which ranks the Top 100 most “disliked” videos on YouTube (current as of April 16, 2016). With 507,610 thumbs down votes, the Ghostbusters trailer is the most disliked movie trailer in the history of YouTube and currently the only movie trailer that even cracks the Top 100. The only other movie-related videos on the list include two versions of “Let It Go” from Frozen.
Justin Bieber’s “Baby” (#1 on the list) has a whopping 6 million thumbs down votes, but that’s on 1.36 billion views for a 226:1 ratio of views to dislikes. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video (#4 overall) has almost 1.5 million thumbs down on 2.5 billion views for a relatively high ratio of 1,666:1. The Ghostbusters trailer is remarkable in that it has 507,610 dislikes on just 28.7 million views. That’s a staggering 56:1, almost exactly four times the amount of dislikes per view of Bieber’s aforementioned most disliked video on all of YouTube. (By contrast, a trailer for a movie like Captain America: Civil War has a 5,237:1 ratio.) It’s not just that people dislike it, it’s that they’re disliking it at a highly disproportionate rate to other YouTube videos.
Even though, in reality, the trailer wasn’t that good, it’s odd that it would garner THIS many dislikes. As Screencrush points out, even when people don’t like a movie they don’t “dislike” it this much. The prevailing theory is that the thumbs down votes aren’t organic, they’re part of a coordinated attack on the film by people who are opposed to its very existence, and who are using bots to artificially drive up the “dislikes” on the trailer. When you factor in the culture of misogyny and toxicity on YouTube comments, it all starts to make sense.
The good news is that while there are over a half-million “dislikes” on the Ghostbusters trailer, there are still over 27 million people who watched the trailer who either officially liked it or had nothing negative to say about it. So while there may be a vocal minority trying to game the YouTube voting system to bring down a movie with a female cast, they are still the minority.
Sadly, the problem is that the trailer could reach 1 million dislikes by the time it opens in July, and by then the campaign to sabotage it just might have sunk any chances the movie had to succeed.
Watch the trailer below (but try to refrain from disliking it. For Melissa and Kristen’s sake.)