As I explained back in August, the real problem with the Ghostbusters reboot was not that it was too feminist for audience sensibilities. The real problem was that the women in ghostbusters didn’t look hot while they were playing the roles of men. Four women in dumpy jumpsuits and combat boots isn’t something most women or men want to watch, even in our thoroughly feminist age.
On the other hand, Suicide Squad was a hit partly because the feminist heroine was hot. I offered a practical test for understanding what kinds of female characters women want to identify with:
A good rule of thumb for women is would they want to dress up like the character for Halloween?
At the time I predicted that Harley Quinn costumes would be far more popular than women’s Ghostbusters costumes this Halloween*. Now that Halloween is upon us, I decided to check Google Frightgeist. Harley Quinn is the number one Halloween costume in the US this year, while Ghostbusters is number 21. This list is not just for women, so any men interested in dressing up as old school Ghostbusters would also contribute to making Ghostbusters number 21.
*More specifically, I predicted that Ghostbusters costumes would remain available while Harley Quinn costumes would sell out. While I was right on the general point, it appears that costume marketers predicted demand well enough to stock up on what would be popular and greatly restrict stock on the niche costume. It turns out that the Ghostbusters costumes are sold out, while nearly all of the Harley Quinn ones are still in stock as I write this.