Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
October 5, 2010
Shalimar Sahota: For this to lose the weekend to Case 39 is a shocking embarrassment and rather baffling! After what Brett said, I guess I can only conclude that America prefers to watch bad horror films. I can't really comment on the advertising, but in the UK I'm already seeing bus posters for this and it's not out here for another month. I have seen, and liked, the original Swedish film, but I have not read the book. Despite overwhelmingly positive reviews (better than I was expecting, some saying that this trumps the original), internet forums seem to suggest a backlash before it was released, with fans of the original holding it up like it's some sacred text not to be messed with, therefore refusing to see or support the remake because it's a cash grab job. It's a case of why bother remaking a good film. Maybe this rubbed off on those that knew nothing about the film(s) and they decided it would be cheaper to hire out the DVD of the original. I know it's looking crowded, but maybe playing it closer to Halloween could have helped.
Reagen Sulewski: I doubt crowding really had anything to do with it - Yes, there were two horror films this weekend, but $5 million a piece is hardly stretching the horror audience to its brink, and there would have been plenty of people left over to see either film had they shown the slightest interest. This may just be a case of producers underestimating who was left to see an English translation of this film - many fans of the original seemed to take personal offense at the idea of a remake, even if it did get positive reviews.
This should probably serve as a warning to Fincher with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - throw us a change up, or you're risking disaster.
Kim Hollis: I do think The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a little different. The books on which it is based are wildly, wildly popular in the US, while Let Me In (also a Swedish translation) is not that well known in the book world (it's great, though. Read it). I think worst-case for Tattoo is a Da Vinci Code trajectory, opening huge and tailing off if it's awful (but if it's good...).
Edwin Davies: Just to echo what everyone else has said, a lack of awareness of the original (I'd urge anyone reading this to seek it out, it is a really fantastic film) combined with a marketing campaign that made it seem to be a very serious, melancholy and ambiguous film (i.e. adequately reflected what it actually is) probably prevented it from appealing to a wider audience. It's potential audience was also shrunk by the fact that a large proportion of the people who have seen the original took against the idea of a remake and so didn't turn out to see it.
I'm of two minds about this result. Part of me is delighted that a remake that I've considered unnecessary since it was announced has not broken out (though the opening weekend of Let Me In is nearly three times the domestic total of Let The Right One In, and its final domestic total only has to be higher than $11 million to beat LTROI's worldwide take), yet I'm also a little disappointed that it didn't do better since it is a really faithful remake that keeps a lot of what made the original one of the best films of the last five years; it's beautifully shot, intelligent and ambiguous, all qualities that are lacking from your average horror film. It's not a patch on the original, in my opinion, but it is a really good film, and the failure of good horror films just drives studios to plow more money into bad horror films.