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[Box Office] ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Underperforms, Which Is Fine Since It’s Neither “Original” Or “Risky”

Timur Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 3D ended the weekend with an estimated $16.5 Million. While that’s not an unmitigated bomb, it’s certainly not a success given its reported production budget of $69 Million (tack at least another 30-40 on for P&A and I think a conservative number for the cost of the film still exceeds $100 Million). I guess there’s still a remote chance this movie makes its money back theatrically, but the C+ Cinemascore (indicating audiences didn’t really like the movie) means it will likely have a precipitous drop-off next weekend. As far as foreign numbers go I wouldn’t expect ALVH to expand much beyond its current take of $7.8 Million. Abe Lincoln is our historical figure, not so much the world’s.

Now, I didn’t outright hate the movie. I actually really enjoyed the first 30-40 minutes or so, but then the script lost me. There are some good performances and some cool set pieces, but there still needs to be some sort of narrative thrust if I’m going to be down with watching a guy in a top-hat kill vampires for two hours. The CG was fairly terrible and I found the film’s image itself unpleasant, too bright and contrasty. Whatever, it’s just another so-so movie, right?

But here’s the thing. I read a report this morning that claimed that the failure of ALVH to catch on could be a bad thing for “original” and “risky” films. That its the audiences’ way of telling studios that they want more remakes and sequels. This is 100% incorrect. And while I normally wouldn’t give much thought to this kind of reporting (or that kind of reporter), I know that this is the sort of thinking that many studio execs can latch onto.

In anything, the failure of ALVH is the failure of a pre-fabricated brand. It’s produced by Tim Burton. Timur Bekmambetov’s last movie, Wanted, did great business. It’s based on a popular book. It’s got vampires. It also has a recognizable brand name – our 16th president and civil rights hero Abraham Lincoln. Where’s the “risk” in this? How is this an audience rejecting an “original” movie? Even though ALVH isn’t a sequel, the reason it exists springs from the same mentality. That’s what mashups are – they are literally mathematical equations. The desire to combine a known entity with an X-factor in order to create a “new” marketable entity is a mutation of the sequelitis gene, not a break from it. Call it the KE+X=$$$ theorem if you want. Except, financially, it just didn’t work out this time.

Let’s talk more inside…

And that Cinemascore… I can understand Cabin In The Woods getting a low ranking because that movie just isn’t for everyone. It’s smart and quirky and esoteric. Abraham Lincoln is none of those things. A movie this big, broad and supposedly full of dumb fun should be able to knock it out of the park with the general public. It could have been a real crowd pleaser, but the fact is the movie loses the audience right after the – admittedly great – horse stampede sequence.

Ultimately the failure of ALVH is the failure of a film that simply wasn’t good enough. So I call bullsh*t on the idea that the audience is rejecting originality here. They rejected it because they’re actually begging for originality and quality, and this movie didn’t have either one. It has the same tired, black heart that most sequels rely on to pump their blood.

Also, as pointed out in the comments below, this is likely the point where the Pride And Prejudice And Zombies adaptation officially dies.

Click here for the Brad’s review. Check back here to write your own review and tell all of Bloody what YOU thought!



  • Aaron Emery

    While I wholeheartedly agree with the point you are making (the concept of mash ups is definitely not an original idea), I really enjoyed ALVH, I seem to be in the minority on this but I found it to be a lot of fun.

    • EvanDickson

      Yeah and I’m not trying to take that away from anyone. I can see how people would like it.

      • Aaron Emery

        Well excellent article as always evan, glad to also hear your opinion on the film.

    • Rae1031

      i went with three others last night to watch it and i was the only one who enjoyed it…..

  • WalkingDeadGuy

    On the flip side, this will put the final nail in ‘Pride and Prejudice and zombies’ coffin 🙁

    • EvanDickson

      GAH! I literally made a note to myself to put that in this article. Amending now.

  • EvilDeadFridaythe13thfan

    Don’t really give a damn this flopped. It looks stupid as hell. Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter? Really??? *rolls eyes*

    • EvanDickson

      Exactly 🙂

  • DoctorAwker

    I can’t say I’m terribly surprised this failed to pull people in. I loved the book, but when I saw the trailer I thought it would be Redbox-able at best. Plus, sharing an opening weekend with a Pixar film never helps.

  • soundofmurder

    I could not agree more. ALVH main problem is that it did not let the audience have any fun with it. I was bored to tears during the middle of the film. The CGI was awful and left some of the more interesting action sequences dull and confusing. I had to laugh at a few parts in the film and to my surprise other movie goers hushed me lol, as if the premise of the film is not entirely ridiculous to begin with. What a shame though… $100 million could have made so many good horror films.

  • djblack1313

    i DO want to see this but this is a DVD watching to me. PROMETHEUS while not perfect (i went for me 2nd viewing today) was definitely worth seeing the theaters. i’ve just accepted that Hollywood is going to make %90 shitty horror movies/”prequels”/remakes and that like it’s been for the last 6(?)-ish years or so foreign horror movies are where it’s at. fuck Hollywood. if they are automatically thinking that this movie failed for being too original/risky, fuck them. i’m tired of worrying about our genre (my really only favorite genre) with these assholes.

  • TheGonzoJoint

    What a waste of my time and money. Easily could have waited to see it on DVD, but it looked interesting so I just HAD to see it. I kind of want my money back. Just like Dark Shadows. I hate seeing mediocre movies in the cinema and paying the full price for it. That, in my opinion, is just rude. But a bad mistake on my part for both.

  • flesheater24

    Good that movie was POS it was boring as fuck, the CGI was horse shit, it reminded me something the MSTK3 team would make fun of. I like timur alot he’s a good director IDK what to this film the script was just lacking in every dept. I even fell a sleep. But I did get some good chuckles out of it. Wasn’t to upset since I was expecting a whole lot. But WHen it was bad ass it was bad ass but it wasn’t enough.

  • Adam666

    awww some of u didnt like it? well BOO FUCKING HOO. oh it was boring, the CGI sucked, it was a waste of time and money. maybe u should comment on ones u do like instead wasting your time acting like a bunch of whiny bitches

  • Adam666

    who cares it didnt make much money people liked to think it matters if a movie flops or makes alot of money, but the truth is it doesnt. Just look at the Twilight films. they made a SHITLOAD of money but none of them are good. I liked movies like Slither, Cabin In The Woods, and Drag Me To Hell even though they didnt make much. As long as a horror film is scary, fun and entertaining, its all that should matter not how many people go to see them

  • djblack1313

    Adam666, i’m not sure if you understand what the point of this article is. if this movie doesn’t meet studio expectations, then we can all expect PG-13 movies. ONLY PG-13 movies. PG-13 movies can make more than R rated movies. THAT IS THE POINT. and THAT SUCKS. and why are you so angry? lol. just relax.

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