In one sense, it's all retreads this weekend at the box office, but both of the main new entries to the multiplex this weekend offer at least a little of the new with their familiar.
Weekend Forecast for April 5-7, 2013
By Reagen Sulewski
April 5, 2013
In almost no other genre but horror could you think of remaking one of the greatest examples of it, and which isn't horribly dated by some element, and not expect a flurry of outrage. And so here we are with a remake of Evil Dead, the seminal low-budget horror classic that launched several careers and rewrote the horror template, and people are kind of excited about it.
Made in 1979 for spare change found in a couch cushion, Evil Dead became arguably one of the best horror films of all time (back in the day, BOP voted it as the #2 horror film of all time, and I don't think anything's come out since then that might have supplanted it). It also gave us Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell (and probably indirectly Peter Jackson, as he seemed really influenced by it) and made splatter horror a real thing with artistry and aesthetic and everything. Its sequels kind of invented comedy-horror, but that's not exactly what we're talking about here with the remake, which seems to be going back to its roots (both figuratively and literally *wink wink*) for some straight up “can you take this?” cinema.
With Campbell and Raimi on as producers helping to give it a stamp of approval, the reins have been handed over to virtual unknown Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez. While his only work seen by the public to date have been some (quite good) short films, what we've been able to piece together from the footage so far shows the visual flair needed to pull off the extreme gore of this type of film without seeming just for the sake of itself. There's a gender flip in the main role, with Suburgatory's Jane Levy playing the protagonist and fighting against the army of the Deadites and a mostly unknown cast outside of that. Possibly a hit and possibly a miss is Diablo Cody's credit on the script, but dark humor isn't out of place here so she may be a good fit.
Trailers and commercials have been going out of their way to appeal to hardcore fans of the original – trying to show that they're staying true to the spirit of it with a few key scenes and props (the chainsaw, that-scene-you-know-the-one) while being enticing to people who aren't familiar with the original (and what's wrong with you if you haven't seen it yet?). I expect awareness of this runs quite strongly, and we should be looking at something with the appeal of the Texas Chainsaw remakes, which have managed really solid opening weekends mostly on the name of the franchise. I'd expect something around $24 million.
Although I'm not among the crowd that has been clamouring for 3D re-releases, this weekend's update of Jurassic Park to the medium is one that actually makes a lot of sense. Action movies were the original use of 3D and the giant shifts in perspective and motion give a lot of purpose to the idea of adapting Spielberg's dino-epic to this. These re-releases have tended to earn about in rough ratio with the original box office of the film (with the notable exception of Titanic, which depended a lot on repeat viewing). In this case, we're probably looking at something in the vicinity of $16 million.
Against their own better interests, people bought $40 million worth of tickets for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which just makes the possibility of a G.I. Joe: Subtitle To Come more likely, although it's really probably out of our hands and up to those foreign markets, and they typically love them some 'splosions. The first G.I. Joe had no legs to speak of, and I don't expect this one to be any different, with about $16 million this weekend.
That's about the number to expect from The Croods, which crossed the $100 million mark mid-week. It hasn't shown itself to be exceptionally leggy, but has done well enough as these things go, and its used its status as the only animated film out right now fairly well.
The remainder of the returning films this week are a collection of movies that won't be around all that long, so catch them quickly if you must. Tyler Perry's Temptation... well, all Tyler Perry's films get the 60% off treatment in their second weekend, so it'll drop to about $9 million. Olympus Has Fallen is living up to its name after a surprise big opening weekend, and should be at $7 million for this weekend. Oz the Great and Powerful isn't doing badly by any means, but should should also drop to around $7 million. Meanwhile, The Host is heading towards an out and out flop, with a $5 million followup to a mere $10 million start.