Carrie Not Very Scary at the Box Office

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boxoffice - Carrie Not Very Scary at the Box OfficeYou Will Know Her Name” proclaimed the poster for the Carrie remake. Perhaps the problem was everyone already knew her name, or maybe it was because the target audience wasn’t old enough to know her name yet. Whatever the reason, the only major horror release of the Halloween season failed to scare up big box office.

The Kimberly Peirce-directed, Chloe Moretz/Julianne Moore-starring remake of the 1976 Brian De Palma-directed, Sissy Spacek/Piper Laurie-starring adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie didn’t exactly light the box office on fire like so many high school gymnasiums despite a rather aggressive marketing campaign and having the Halloween horror crowd all to itself.

In all seriousness, why are there more horror movies opening in January of next year than the Halloween month of October this year? The moment Paranormal Activity moved to 2014, some studio should have had the sense to slide one or two horror offering they had on the shelf into that slot to try to make a quick All Hallows’ Eve buck. More horror movies opened in August and September of this year as well.

Carrie, disappointingly, didn’t even come close to dethroning #1 Gravity. Settling for second with $17.3 million compared to Gravity’s $31 million, a second weekend of Tom Hanks tangling with Somali pirates in Captain Philips was strong enough to knock the remake down to third place by a couple hundred thousand dollars with Carrie‘s current estimate at an even $17 million.

Was it viewed as too much of an unnecessary remake by horror purists and general audiences tiring of reboots? Did its R rating make it inaccessible to the ABC Family teenage girl audience this adaptation felt very much geared towards? Not bloody enough for hardcore horror fans? Not frightening enough looking for those just wanting a good scare? There could be some hand-wringing in Hollywood trying to figure out why this one didn’t click (a B- Cinemascore doesn’t bode well for its box office future). More likely they’ll just quickly greenlight another remake of a classic nobody’s clamoring for and hope that’s the one that takes. Poltergeist, anyone?

Speaking of things nobody is clamoring for: movies starring aging action heroes who were once the biggest box office stars on the planet. Twenty years ago a Stallone-Schwarzengger team-up movie set in a high-tech prison would have opened to mega-sized box office; today it can’t even open to more than $10 million.

Holding on in 6th place is Prisoners with Insidious Chapter 2 closing out the Top 10 and Machete Kills limping along in the 12th spot.

The Hunger Games? Oldboy? Are they horror enough for you? They’ll have to be because they are your only two options for the rest of the year. Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait until January for I, Frankenstein, Devil’s Due, and Paranormal Espanoltivity.

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