Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

August 30, 2011

Rain, rain, go away.

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I'm guessing this movie's message is contrary to its title.

Kim Hollis: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark opened to $8.5 million. What should rising distributor Film District take from this result?

Brett Beach: Well, I for one am impressed that Film District got a decent start for a biopic on blues singer Robert Cray and... oh, this is something else entirely? Whoops!

In my mind I am trying to crunch the numbers for what Guillermo del Toro's name prominently featured adds to the kitty vs. what "based on a 40 year old television movie that most people are unaware of" takes away. I never thought the initial trailer looked all that scary and aside from the goodwill generated by his involvement, couldn't see any reason why this was a must see. Plus, FD already came out of the gate with a well-reviewed surprise hit supernatural tale this spring. Some consumers may have asked, "why should I pay for second best at summer's end?" This will throw under Insidious and Soul Surfer and be their lowest grosser to date.


Matthew Huntley: I remember seeing the trailer for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark a long time ago - so long, in fact, that I can't help but wonder if it was pushed back due to poor test screenings. I saw the movie and it was, in fact, poor, which comes as an unwelcome surprise since Guillermo del Toro was attached to it. He also helped bring The Orphanage to the U.S., and that was a great film, so you can see why my expectations for Dark would be high.

Criticism aside, given the movie's release date, Film District is probably not too surprised by the $8.5 million opening, and with a budget of less than $13 million, they'll probably see a profit from the movie eventually.

Max Braden: With this and Fright Night, perhaps everyone in Hollywood should take away that the interest in horror remakes has been exhausted.

Reagen Sulewski: Not only has it been a bad couple of weeks for horror remakes, it's been a bad week for prolific Mexican cult favorites. Although I admittedly watch very little network TV in the summer, I saw basically no promotion for this film, which to me is the biggest factor. There was nothing out there to let people know this was out there, and this was compounded by there not being much in the little that people saw to entice them. Creepy-crawlies in a haunted house seems pretty played out to me.

Edwin Davies: They should probably take from this that picking up Miramax's cast-offs isn't the best idea, regardless of whether or not the people involved are good people. Considering the trouble this film had making its way to theaters this has to be considered better than a worst case scenario, if not much better. Del Toro's name might help sell it more overseas, but it's clear that FilmDistrict didn't have that much faith in it, as evidenced by the late August release date and the lack of visible marketing, so this'll probably be a wash for them when everything is said and done.

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