If the Box Office Is Any Indication, It Really Will Be The Last Exorcism

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If the Box Office is Any Indication It Really Will Be the Last ExorcismThere was good news and bad news for The Last Exorcism Part II at this weekend’s box office. The bad news is that it bombed. The good news is that it was such a cheap movie to make, it won’t be nearly the money loser Jack the Giant Slayer is poised to be.

Either “Eli Roth Presents…” doesn’t mean nearly as much to the general public as “Guillermo Del Toro Presents…” or audiences didn’t consider The Last Exorcism a move that needed to be franchised because the non-found footage follow-up to the 2010 found footage hit floundered in fourth place with $8 million, so reports Box Office Mojo. Compare that to the original’s $20 million opening, and it’s apparent The Last Exorcism Part II will be lucky if it even grosses half of what its progenitor produced. The “C-” Cinemascore it received certainly does not bode well, though that’s still better than the “D” Cinemascore the original garnered. Unless producers decide to keep the cheaply produced franchise alive as a direct-to-DVD title, it’s probably safe to assume we’ve seen the last exorcism.

Dark Skies‘ franchise possibilities don’t look promising. The extraterrestrial fright flick didn’t exactly open strong last weekend and a week later, with $3.5 million, already sits at 10th place. Am I alone in believing “From the Producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious” means less and less with each new movie they tout, which at this point seems to be every other new release horror movie?

By all accounts the biggest loser of the weekend looks to be Jack the Giant Slayer even though it opened #1. $28 million is not that strong an opening when you consider the inflated 3D ticket prices, the film’s $200+ million budget, the additional millions spent marketing the Bryan Singer blockbuster, and that the studio had already greatly lowered expectations for opening weekend. Better hope international sales are through the roof, or this could be a loser of Battleship proportions.

Something tells me audiences interested in a big budget, special effects-driven, family-friendly blockbuster loosely based on a classic fairy tale decided to hang on to their hard earned dollars until Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful opens next weekend. Expect Jack and his beanstalk to wither on the vine in about five days.

Not horror related but as an amusing footnote, the Ed Harris/David Duchovny submarine thriller Phantom opened on 1,100 screens and made so little money the distributors have opted not to report the numbers. Word is the number is under $500,000. In other words, welcome to Creature territory.

The news wasn’t all bad for genre releases. In very limited release – 7 screens to be exact – Chan-woo Park’s first American thriller Stoker grossed $158,000. That translates to a solid $22,500 per screen. Expect Fox Searchlight to slowly roll the film out around the country.

The Dread Central box office report gets to take a few weeks off as the remainder of the month’s wide releases are pretty much horror-free until The Host opens March 29th. Seeing as how this is the latest film based on a book by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, I’m sure there’s no shortage of you out there ready to begin kicking and screaming at the mere notion that anything in any way, shape, or form Twilight related might be referred to as horror. In which case, The Evil Dead remake opens the first week of April.

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