Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
January 8, 2013
Kim Hollis: Lionsgate released the same old Texas Chainsaw Massacre this weekend, but took off the Massacre and added 3D. This reboot of a long-tired concept earned $21.7 million in its opening weekend. What do you think of this result? Are you surprised that another slight variation to this series led to such good numbers?
Bruce Hall: I'm not so sure this result has as much to do with the Texas Chainsaw franchise as it does the fact that this is a good time of year to release a low budget horror film. January is slow, and most of the country is cold and miserable and bored anyway, so why not take in a movie? A horror flick, good or bad, is not a bad way to kill a couple of hours on a sleepy January night. Around this time last year, Paramount's The Devil Inside pulled in $33 million on a $1 million budget - without the "benefit" of a franchise name.
Matthew Huntley: I agree with Bruce on this. Many industry analysts will likely build this up into something it's (probably) not by saying horror fans have been under-served lately, or that this franchise still has some gas left in its chainsaw, etc., all of which may be valid, but I think it's more accurate to say TC3D was #1 mostly by default, and not because of anything the movie had to offer. It was the only new release of the weekend and the 3D experience increased the ticket price - these are the reasons it opened to $23 million. Not a big shocker. I foresee a Devil Inside-type fall next weekend when Gangster Squad opens and Zero Dark Thirty expands.
Felix Quinonez Jr.: I think the brand name did help at least a little bit. I know people who love the original so much that they seemed to kid themselves into thinking that this was going to be a good movie. I know that's anecdotal but I doubt they are the ONLY people who feel this way. But in the end I have to agree with what has already been said in that this is just a good time for horror movies and Chainsaw just happened to be the movie that met the criteria.
Jay Barney: These numbers are very impressive. I don't think this represents a new wave of interest in horror films, but this is going to be a huge success story for Lionsgate. Their timing was great, the competition coming out of the holidays was pretty slim, and they had a brand with a name to it. The low budget of $18 million is going to be money very well spent. From this point forward, any coin it brings in represents a profit for the studio. With horror films, the money isn't in legs. It is in the first weekend or two, and Texas Chainsaw 3D will be a great earner for Lionsgate.
Brett Ballard-Beach: This is a solid to above average result. Lionsgate showed again they know how to reach their core audience in marketing a low-budget horror film. That coupled with the unleashing of singer turned actor Trey Songz (studio surveys revealed one in three of the - primarily female - under 25-year-olds who attended went because of him) means that this pretty much keeps the series where it was at with the previous installment in terms of attendance. After a terrible run in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the Chainsaw’s been resurrected in the last decade. It may be hard to surpass the $80 million gross of the 2003 re-launch any time soon, but openings like this will keep the prequels, sequels, and reboots a-comin’. I am confused, though. This is meant to be a direct sequel to the 1974 original? Of which there already was one. In 1986. (I know. I’m thinking too hard about this.)
David Mumpower: Brett has touched upon the most intriguing aspect of the conversation for me. I am understandably dubious about the validity of poll sampling that indicates a rapper’s presence added such a staggering amount to ticket sales. If this is even a little bit validated by studio numbers, however, Trey Songz will be attached to 27 films by this time next month. We are talking about one man (potentially) boosting an established franchise’s opening weekend by over $7 million.