Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Director Joe Berlinger Talks Blair Witch Box Office - Dread Central
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Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Director Joe Berlinger Talks Blair Witch Box Office

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Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

Earlier in the day we talked about the disappointing box office returns of Blair Witch. Now the director of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Joe Berlinger, has chimed in to give his opinion on the state of things.

Berlinger also vented a bit to Deadline

“I have nothing but respect for Adam Wingard, and I hope the film is great; I haven’t seen it yet,” he tells the outlet.

Ironically, I was in Toronto and just couldn’t bring myself to go see it and relive the trauma. What trauma? The studio recut [my] film and inserted scenes of gore against my will, and I didn’t have the courage back then to just remove my name from the film. And then to be eviscerated by critics on a cut of the film that I did not sanction was doubly painful. That’s not to say that my director’s cut would have garnered a better reaction from critics per se, [but] at least I could have stood by the film for representing my vision, and if people hated that version, it would have been less painful because it’s what I would have wanted to be seen.

But why I tweeted today is this: There is also this myth that the film was a financial disaster… In fact, it was still Artisan’s second highest grossing film in their history, the highest being the original BW. It grossed $48 million worldwide on a $10 million budget and did over $25 million on DVD… Pure gravy on DVD… People talk of this film as a total failure and franchise killer. The first film, which I have tremendous respect for, was a phenomenon because of how it was marketed, as a real documentary, at a naive and early stage of the Internet. That was one of the themes buried in my film that got butchered.

No film… not mine or Adam Wingard’s, was going to do that kind of business. Creatively, my intention was to do something very meta that made fun of the very idea of doing a sequel, but the studio butchered the film at the 12th hour. But my film still grossed $13 million opening weekend with a lot of hate being thrown my way prior to release; movie tickets were a lot cheaper in 2000 [than] now; I was released on less screens, and with inflation and movie ticket prices taken into account, my grosses in today’s dollars were about $20M, per a Forbes magazine column yesterday. I was handed a lot of hate and told I killed the franchise.

Interesting… could a different cut of Book of Shadows have helped the film more? Probably not. Tell us what you think below.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

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