On this day in pop culture history: Both ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Gremlins’ opened in theaters
It was 32 years ago today that not one but two classic horror comedies opened in theaters.
It’s hard to believe that these two movies opened against each other, but 1984 was a different time, when opening weekend numbers weren’t given the same weight as they are now and films stayed in theaters much longer.
Ghostbusters that dominated the U.S. box office that opening weekend but not by much — it earned $13.6 million then, while Gremlins grossed $12.5 million. The Bill Murray movie became the clear winner of the box office over the summer, though, holding the No. 1 spot for seven consecutive weeks.
Ghostbusters, of course, has a very buzzy and headline-grabbing (for better or worse or mass hysteria) follow-up film on the way this summer, a reboot of the original. There’s reportedly a new Gremlins on the way too: The latest on Gremlins 3 came from a Zach Galligan interview (he played Billy Peltzer), when he said the film will indeed be a sequel, not a reboot or a remake.
Other notable June 8 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1942: Bing Crosby recorded “Silent Night,” which was included on his compilation holiday album Merry Christmas. It was a song he recorded and re-released on several occasions.
• 1948: Texaco Star Theatre, one of the earliest TV successes, first starting broadcasting on NBC.
• 1949: George Orwell’s 1984 was published.
• 1969: At the 21st Emmy Awards, Get Smart won Outstanding Comedy Series for the second consecutive year.
• 1974: Paul McCartney single “Band on the Run” hit the top of the U.S. singles chart.
• 1979: The series finale of Welcome Back, Kotter aired. In the fourth and final season, John Travolta — who was focusing more on his film career after the success of Grease and Saturday Night Fever — was billed as a special guest star and only appeared in eight episodes that season.
• 1996: At the MTV Movie Awards, held at Walt Disney Studios, Seven won Best Movie, Alicia Silverstone won Best Female Performance for Clueless, and George Clooney was honored for Breakthrough Performance for From Dusk Till Dawn. Garbage performed “Only Happy When It Rains” at the show.
• 1999: The novel Hannibal was released, the third book by Thomas Harris to feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
• 2002: The Eminem Show hit the top of the Billboard 200, holding the No. 1 spot for 5 consecutive weeks, then returning to the top of the chart for one week in September. It went on to become the best-selling album of 2002.
• 2010: Pretty Little Liars premiered on the network then called ABC Family.