Don’t Be Afraid of the Box Office (Unless You’re a Studio Exec)

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Box Office Mojo

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How much did Hurricane Irene whipping up the Northeast affect this weekend’s box office can only be guesstimated. This was a terrible weekend at the box office, especially for genre films, and that probably would have remained the case even if the East Coast hadn’t been bracing for Irenageddon™.

The Guillermo Del Toro produced remake of the classic 1974 made-for-TV fright flick Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark saw the light of theaters this past weekend and the best to be said for it is that it held its own better than the Fright Night remake and Final Destination 5. Opening third behind the sentimental juggernaut The Help and the PG-13 hitwoman actioner Colombiana, Box Office Mojo has the Troy Nixey supernatural horror remake raking in about $8.7 million, another disappointing opening for a horror movie this August.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes finally dropped out of the top two, down to fourth place with about $8.6 million for the weekend. The prequel/reboot is up to $148 million domestically alone and yet, surprisingly, there has yet to be official word of a sequel.

Last weekend saw the 3D remakes of Fright Night and Conan the Barbarian open DOA at the box office. Their corpses continued to rot this weekend.

Conan the Barbarian dropped almost 70% with a $3.1 million 8th place finish for a two week total of barely $16 million. Keep in mind it cost $90 million to produce. If this doesn’t get Marcus Nispel sent to director’s jail for a few years, nothing will.

Fright Night once again pulled up lame finishing 9th with $3 million. The producers had better hope that David Tennant is a big enough name in his home country to make the movie a runaway blockbuster in Britain when it opens there in a week.

Final Destination 5 can pretty much say hello to second-run theaters at this point having now dropped completely out of the top 10 to 12th place with $2.4 million. The fifth installment in this franchise looks as if it will peter out at around $40 million. The prospects for a sixth Final Destination look dim. Fans of the franchise might have to wait a decade when Alex Aja helms the inevitable remake.

Next weekend will see two wild cards enter the fray in the form of Shark Night 3D and Apollo 18. Both are PG-13, and while I would say that sets them up to cancel each other out, Apollo 18 has a gimmick to it that appears to be more intriguing to potential moviegoers than its rival, a shark movie so generic looking it appears to already have been creatively dwarfed by most of its low budget made-for-Syfy counterparts. Apollo 18 could be a surprise hit. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the box office total for Shark Night 3D next week simply reads: “A guy in California named Buz.”

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  • Cinemascribe

    Good assessment of the Shark Night 3D trailers, Foy. That’s what I thought as well..the thing looks bland. Jaws this ain’t. Hell, from the clips I’ve seen, this isn’t even gonna match the goofy pleasures of Deep Blue Sea.

    You know a movie is in trouble when the major plot device- killer sharks appearing in a land locked body of water people use for recreation- has already been the focus of a TBS tv movie starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Coolio.

    Every year, I miss Bruce the shark and his sequelized bretheren more and more. Maybe those mechanical sharks looked fake, but at least they were genuinely mean icthyological badasses when they were on screen. So while these pussified CGI superfish engage in their inevitable near misses to pad the running time, I’ll be watching the shark in Jaws 2 slam a kid into the side of a boat face first before chomping him down like a Mcnugget. Now THAT’S a shark attack.

  • kalebson

    Not on the East Coast but we had a meager dozen or so in out theatre…damn horrible. Still trying to see what made this movie rated R. There were more horiffic scenes in many PG 13 movies I can think of. Just my 2 cents.