Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
January 6, 2015

The sex tape no one wants to see.

Kim Hollis: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, the first new wide release of 2015, debuted with $15 million. What do you think of this result?

Jay Barney: This is a pretty good opening considering it is less of a product than the original and it opened on a weekend most studios stay away from. The first one with Daniel Radcliffe did surprisingly well, and this comes across as an effort to cash in on that success. You can’t blame Relativity for trying to make money, and they will probably do that here. With it being in the horror genre, though, the press and attention it gets is going to be extremely short lived. Word-of-mouth and the Rotten Tomatoes rating will probably keep some people away that might have seen it.

Anything related to horror films usually suffer drastic declines in week two. The shelf life is going to be extremely short. Keeping 45% of its audience next weekend would be an accomplishment. That type of drop puts its earning power from January 9th to the 11th at only $6 million. Such a sophomore frame is probably enough to keep it in the top 10, but not by much. I would expect a lot of the Christmas and holiday films to stick around for a little while longer. Taken 3 is going to do significant business. The weekend of Jan. 16th - 18th will see it gone from the Top 10, as there are three new wide releases at that point.

It will make money, but it will be here and gone pretty quick.

Michael Lynderey: People just enjoy going to horror movies on or around this weekend every year, it seems - from White Noise to One Missed Call, The Unborn, The Devil Inside, Texas Chainsaw 3D, and Paranormal Activity 5 (how's that for a weekend marathon?). They always open well and they never stay around for the rest of the month. Usually the opening is in the mid to late teens, and then the challenge is to get to $40 million: The Unborn just barely did it, and White Noise and The Devil Inside, the outliers in this group, opened and finished reasonably (or perhaps unreasonably) above the average.

I guess a low-budget horror movie is a good way to throw off the pretensions of the Oscar season. As for The Woman in Black in particular, the original seemed like a one-off tale, maybe even something that could have been cut down and put into a larger horror anthology film, so I'm surprised by the successful franchising. Hammer Films' The Quiet Ones, another ghost movie, didn't do very well in April. But in any case, it's good to have the studio back.

Felix Quinonez: I think it's a pretty good opening. I'm sure the budget wasn't out of control on this one so I'm sure it will make money before it even reaches the home video market. I also think that the fact that it opened as high as it did without Daniel Radcliffe is pretty impressive. I didn't see the first one but I thought Radcliffe was the main selling point of it. That being said, I expect this to be extremely front-loaded.

Bruce Hall: We all know that box office for horror movies tends to skew early, but out of that $15 million frame, nearly eight of it was earned on Friday alone. Now that's what I call front loaded!

I don't know what the production budget was, but I'm going to assume it was a LOT less than the $15 million or so spent on the original, which no doubt benefited from having Harry Potter in the cast, right at the peak of his appeal. With no such draw this time, there's very little but word-of-mouth and the goodwill of the horror community to put butts in seats.

Still, as I've said many times before, if you can make your production costs back in one day (as I suspect this movie did), everything after that is gravy. It looks like there's going to be a lot of gravy here, and that's good - because by this time next week "WIIB" will be long forgotten.

Reagen Sulewski: I sure hope that Radcliffe gets points on this (I mean, not that he needs them, exactly). We've seen a little evidence that horror audiences are getting pickier on new titles (The Pyramid, anyone?) so latching on to middle-tier names to launch a franchise and then dropping the costs for the followup is a savvy, if cynical move. Meanwhile, films that have actual demand are being withheld from audiences for no good reason (give me the Babadook already!).

Edwin Davies: This is a pretty good result considering that literally no one without a financial stake in it was asking for a sequel to The Woman in Black, which was a deliberately self-contained story that didn't exactly lend itself to a franchise. Changing the time period and lowering the costs - apparently it cost only $1 million to pick up distribution rights, so Relativity should be pretty happy - clearly worked out. Even when it craters next week (I don't think an "if" is necessary on this one) it'll still end up being a success. Not a huge one, not the kind that people will talk about much if at all once we get to February, but for an unnecessary sequel to retain most of what its predecessor managed on opening weekend, despite having so much stacked against it, is pretty good.