Box Office Mojo
This weekend’s ultra violent reboot of Conan the Barbarian and remake of Fright Night have been met with widely differing critical reactions. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Judging by their respective box office takes, it’s more like, “Who cares?”
This was not a good weekend for R-rated genre flicks at the box office. It really wasn’t a good weekend for any flicks at the box office although Rise of the Planet of the Apes continued to surprise with a 2nd place finish (just behind 1st place The Help and ahead of 3rd place Spy Kids 4D) of $16 million for the weekend. In its third week the prequel has hauled in around $133 million domestically.
Surprising there has yet to be official word of an Apes follow-up when you consider Warner Brothers announced intentions to move forward with a Green Lantern sequel even after it flopped at the box office both domestically and internationally.
Speaking of flops, the weekend was truly frightful for the 3D remake of the Eighties cult classic Fright Night. 3,000 theaters. Inflated 3D ticket prices. A 6th place opening weekend finish (behind The Smurfs) with $7.9 million dollars is all it was able to muster. Folks, you do realize even Vampires Suck opened stronger than this, right?
Rest assured somewhere in Hollywood today the producers are shaking their heads and declaring they should have made it PG-13. At least their dead-on-arrival remake only cost about $30 million, but Fright Night will still go down as one of the year’s biggest box office bombs.
As Box Office Mojo astutely pointed out, “The original Fright Night made $6.1 million its first weekend back in August 1985, but the remake had around half the attendance, despite having over twice the locations.”
Although Conan opened slightly stronger, Lionsgate/Nu Image/Millennium Films had $90 million riding on the reboot, and they had better hope audiences are more receptive to it internationally or else the title character won’t be the only person involved who loses his shirt. Would a PG-13 rating have helped this 21st century Conan do better than a dire 4th place opening of only $10 million (and that’s also with inflated 3D ticket prices included)?
We already got a PG-rated Conan back in the Eighties, and that’s not exactly looked back upon all that fondly. Anyone who has seen The Scorpion King already has a good idea what a PG-13 Conan would be like. Perhaps a lack of starpower or trailers that made it look like nothing more than an R-rated Scorpion King can explain why the film has been greeted with viewer disinterest. Or maybe this is one of those movies where the average viewer decided they could just wait four months to see it when it comes out on DVD.
Lastly, death continued to die at the box office as Final Destination 5 sank to 7th place in its second week with a paltry $7.7 million. $32.3 million is all this fifth installment in the Final Destination has been able to pull in thus far, making it far and away the weakest showing of any in the series. If you’re wondering what’s the only thing that can kill death itself, the answer appears to be apathy.
With Conan savaged and Fright Night staked out of the gate this weekend, you have to wonder who next weekend will be nervously biting their fingers the most: the people watching Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark or the people that produced the R-rated remake.
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