It was a big weekend for Hollywood with three films coming in at over $20 million and a 3D re-release nipping at their heels. But it was Evil Dead that swallowed the box office’s soul in a big way.
The ultra gory remake of the horror classic Evil Dead was the easy winner at the box office sitting atop with $26 million. The Sony TriStar/FilmDirect/Ghost House production did $1.8 million alone just in midnight sneak preview sales. Not only has the redux already made its reported $17 million budget back, that’s more than the original The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and Army of Darkness combined.
The year hasn’t been great for Hollywood so far, but it’s shaping up that one of the biggest winners of the first quarter of 2013 will be Sam Raimi, director of the global blockbuster Oz: The Great and Powerful and producer of this remake of the film that pretty much launched his career three decades ago.
What now will remain to be seen is whether Evil Dead has legs or if they’ll get lopped off like so many limbs in the film. Horror movies tend to drop off big in the second weekend, and odds are it could be really big for Evil Dead considering it only garnered a very disappointing “C+” Cinemascore, an indication that word-of-mouth is not particularly strong. Could that be a backlash to the bold marketing that showcases a poster declaring the film will be “The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience”? You want to talk about setting the bar so insanely high you’re practically begging for a backlash.
These days you don’t even need to go the remake route anymore to milk a few more dollars out of a name property. Not when you can convert it to 3D and re-release it to theaters 10-20 years later. Trailing behind Evil Dead, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and The Croods in fourth place with $18.2 million was Jurassic Park 3D – the adventure 30 million years in the making, now a 3D conversion 20 years in the making. That opening is better than both Titanic and Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace did the opening weekends of their 3D conversion re-releases.
3D dinosaurs > 3D shipwrecks > 3D Jar Jar Binks.
When you take into consideration that Jurassic Park already grossed more than half a billion dollars in 1993 dollars upon first release, this 3D revival is merely extra gravy on an already mega profitable gravy train and an appetite wetter for next year’s Jurassic Park 4.
Should also make note that while it may be on its way out of the top 10, Brad Anderson’s thriller The Call has proved to be a minor hit, taking in around $43 million. Halle Berry should call Vince McMahon to tell him WWE Studios finally helped produce a money winner.
Next weekend we’ll see how well Evil Dead holds. More importantly, we’ll see how many suckers actually flock to see Scary Movie 5. You know who you are. Don’t be that person.
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