Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

April 9, 2013

And all it took was one gruesome broken leg!

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Kim Hollis: Evil Dead, the remake of one of BOP's favorite horror films of all-time, earned $25.8 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?

Brett Ballard-Beach: I think it could have made significantly less than this and that result would have still been good considering the low budget (although I was overzealous in my head and as the weekend approached thought this might crack the low 30s): Here is a beloved horror film franchise whose last related film was 20 years ago, whose total theatrical grosses of prior installments was $20 million, and which lacked a Jason/Freddy/Leatherface core. Couple that with the series’ iconic cult status and there was potential for the film to be underwhelming, sliding into disaster. Having Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell on board was a good blessing (although I am not sure exactly what the film would have been if they weren't at all involved) and what remains to be seen is how this can be pushed into an all new direction that audiences may continue to follow to a viably commercial degree.

Side note for whoever can answer: I see that this got a C+ Cinemascore, but that this was qualified as being not bad for a horror film. If something like this isn't to the A+ liking of the opening weekend audience then what is? And why are horror audiences so sanctimonious hard to please?


Jay Barney: I almost hate to say it because there have been so many cheap horror successes over the last six months, but this genre is alive and well. Even if some of the choices being brought out are remakes, audiences are definitely willing to spend money on hack and slash. The budget numbers are the ones that matter, and there is no question that any studio would love to have the numbers that Evil Dead has in just one weekend. Even if marketing and advertising are well above the $17 million production budget, the film is already making money. The first weekend is done and everything from this point on is just going to be gravy. $26 million for its first weekend is a huge success. From this point on, even if the drop is more than 55% next weekend, it is entirely possible Evil Dead will make somewhere between three and four times what it took to make it. Who can disagree with those numbers or that level of success?

Matthew Huntley: On the one hand, it's a win for distributor Sony and I'm glad the horror remake was able to breathe some more life into the box office. And I agree this movie will definitely be in the black before it reaches the home market, which is great news. On the other, it means we're in store for yet more horror remakes because movies like this reinforce the only thing studios need to do is rehash old projects with relatively cheap budgets because the built-in fanbase will allow them to recoup their costs on opening weekends. My worry is the success of remakes will continue to prevent original material from getting produced, which is a shame. I'd rather the film industry make money while moving forward with new ideas.

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