Universal released Mama, the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror thriller about a group of feral children raised by something sinister, on Friday and it cleaned up over the weekend. A $10 Million Friday translated into an estimated $28.1 Million dollar weekend ($33.2 if the 4-Day projections hold for the MLK Holiday). That’s a lot of money!
Even if I didn’t totally love the movie (nor did Brad, you can read his review here), there’s plenty to admire about it, particularly the fact that its story is pretty original. And that $33 Million more than doubles its $15M production budget. It had a not great B- cinemascore, but exit polling revealed that audiences liked it more than Texas Chainsaw 3D so expect it to not drop like a rock like that one did.
Now if we can only get this many people to hit the theaters for Evil Dead in April and You’re Next in August!
Remember to write your own reviews here!
The passing of time provides us with context and perspective. And, when it comes to film, while box office is the most immediate gauge of a film’s impact – it’s not the best. Time and context are the best gauges. When you watch Slither or The Thing now do you think of their underwhelming box office? Probably not. You think about how you’ve seen them a million times and still love them (unless you read my article in October), which is how it should be. Box office is temporal and ultimately irrelevant to your enjoyment
But when you reverse this approach by taking films that you rarely even think about anymore and look up their grosses, you get some surprising results. IE – “That made HOW much?!” The same goes for movies that you love but assume – due to them actually being daring and good – that they must have been flops. With that in mind, I’ve decided to share the results of a recent foray into the past. Note that some of these films might not be “hits” when viewed through the lens of the return on their production budget (and these amounts don’t include foreign takes or ancillary revenue streams like DVD and VOD). No, these are just movies that shocked me when I saw certain numbers beside their title.
Head inside for 5 Horror Movies That Were Surprisingly Hits. READ MORE
As I was fighting to stay awake through Silent Hill: Revelation last night, I was wondering where the fun was. Why was I being served this as entertainment? And then I remembered… it’s partially my fault.
I mean, every community has its upsides and downsides. Do you want to know what the downside to being a horror fan is? We bitch and moan about how we’re never given anything original, fresh or inventive. That’s not true. We’re typically given a few great wide releases each year. Do you want to know why we’re not given more than that? Because we don’t go. Not until it’s too late, anyway. Sure, there are lots of variables. Perhaps a film doesn’t have the best or most extensive P&A campaign. Or it’s opening on a crowded weekend. Or the economy’s bad (even though the entire success of the Paranormal Activity franchise occurred after the bottom fell out). Whatever the excuse may be at the moment, it’s almost a constant. Remember how John Carpenter’s The Thing tanked in 1982? We’ve been dodging gifts for decades. And in this day and age, we can be savvier than that.
Case in point? James Gunn’s Slither. Most of you have probably seen it by now, but I bet hardly any of you saw it in a theater. It opened to a $3.88 million weekend in early 2006. Its domestic gross topped out at $7.8 million. In a world where some of the worst – and most boring – horror films can make $30 or $40 million on an opening weekend, one of the best horror comedies of the decade made only a fraction of that during its entire run. Don’t worry, I’m not pointing the finger just at you. I wasn’t there either (I lamely caught up with it on DVD in December of that year).
Head inside for more… READ MORE
Paramount Pictures’ Paranormal Activity 4 hit theaters on Friday. And it pulled in a little north of $30M domestic (and around $26.5M foreign for a worldwide total of around $57M). All in all this is a huge success for a film that only cost $5M to produce. They’re already in the black. It’s just not as huge of a success as they’re used to. That’s down $22M in the opening frame from PA3 and down $10M or so from PA2, which makes it the weakest performer in the series since PA1 opened in limited theaters in 2009.
Overall the film has a pretty weak Cinemascore, polled audiences gave it a “C” which means a lot of them will be telling their friends not to go (I guess they agreed with Brad). It could end up as the lowest (or 2nd lowest) grossing entry. But let’s not break out the violins just yet. This series is still insanely profitable – and Paramount just officially announced Paranormal Activity 5 for October 2013.
My hope? Either drop the mythology completely or answer some questions about it. The whole “witches” angle isn’t very scary to me. Seeing Katie running around breaking people’s necks isn’t very scary to me either. So either get interesting with some answers or get scary again with ghosts f*cking with people in new ways. Maybe stop tossing people around and figure something else out? I really liked PA3 because it had some legit scary moments – and I’d like a return to pushing things forward in the medium rather than adding a bunch of expositional mumbo jumbo. Maybe this series is like Star Trek and every other one will be good.
Did you see PA4 this weekend? Tell everyone what YOU think by writing your own review.
Lionsgate’s wonderful The Cabin in the Woods was released on Friday and looks to have wrangled in about $15 Million for the weekend. While it’s obviously not a record breaking hit, those aren’t terrible numbers either. A Cinemascore of around C indicates that about half the audience loved it and the other half hated it. Fair enough. But for those of you who loved it, I’d encourage you to spread the word to similarly minded friends and horror fans. Every time a new and original horror film is released it’s a crucial moment – the studios are watching. And they know that while horror fans often clamor for new ideas and fresh blood, they often fail to show up at the box office. This is one of the reasons we get so many remakes and sequels.
You’ve already read Mr. Disgusting’s Review and David Harley’s Review, so I figured I would write less of a formal review and more of an informal (super-spoilery) addendum on why I love the film as well. As always, we love you even more when you write your own reviews.
In this R-rated horror film now in theaters everywhere, “A group of friends at a cabin retreat scratch the surface of something so massive and horrific that they can only begin to fathom it as time quickly runs out. If you think you know this story, think again. ‘Cabin in the Woods’ is a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.”
Head inside for my spoiler heavy remarks. READ MORE
In the first year since 2004 to not have a Saw entry, Paranormal Activity 3 (reviews) opened at a staggering $54 million – around $10 million more than pre-weekend projections and a little more than speculated after Friday’s massive haul – which makes Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s threequel the biggest horror and Fall (September and October) opener of all time. It beat out Paranormal Activity 2 for the former, and Jackass 3D for the latter.
According to Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore, there’s no Paranormal Activity 4 currently in development, but “people certainly continue to be very interested in the franchise.” With a box office take like that, expect to see the saga of Katie and Kristi continue next Halloween.
If you caught it this weekend, don’t forget to tell the rest of Bloody Disgusting what YOU thought of the film. READ MORE