Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
October 22, 2013
Kim Hollis: Carrie, the Stephen King adaptation and update to the 1976 movie, opened to $16.1 million. What do you think of this result?
Matthew Huntley: Just as the movie is a perfect example of an unnecessary horror remake, its box office numbers are perfectly in line with expectations, given the genre, the cast and the time of year. Bottom line: there were no real surprises here and I expect there to be fewer surprises going forward. Carrie will probably lose half of its audience from week to week, be all but gone by the second weekend of November, and earn $40-$45 million in total, which will justify its $30 million budget and probably green-light another horror remake in the near future.
Edwin Davies: This is a bit less than I anticipated owing solely to the strong marketing effort. Sony advertised the hell out of Carrie and really put the word out there, but apparently no one cared to listen. I think it fell into a trap that a lot of horror remakes do; it was a new version of a film that is held up as a classic, which basically means that few of the original fans will show up, but it also relied really heavily on the name recognition of the original without really offering much in the ads to entice newcomers in. Compare that to Evil Dead, which made great efforts to not only appeal to fans of the original but offered plenty of inventive, terrifying gore in the trailers to get non-fans interested. I'm also not sure how strong the Carrie name is, based on the fact that all the other attempts to continue or revive it as a film series, a TV show and even a musical failed pretty spectacularly. I get the feeling that a lot of other Stephen King books have surpassed it in cultural relevance over the years, so the name wasn't strong enough to overcome the general lack of excitement around the film.
Bruce Hall: Evil Dead made it a point to offer a slightly new spin on a familiar classic that (in my opinion, anyway) worked very well for the film. And the trailers (an art form in and of themselves) communicated this effectively and made the remake seem like something worthwhile. This is why I hate referring to remakes as "unnecessary" because I have a hard time identifying what a "necessary" one is. Stories have been getting retold as long as there have been stories; I really don't see it as anything to fear or become upset about. That said, the trailers for Carrie did NOT appear to offer us any new or compelling reasons to rush out and see the reboot. Sure, I like Chloe Grace Moretz. Sure, I like Julianne Moore. But if you're familiar with the original film you already know what happens and how it ends, and the trailers don't bother to hide any of it - so what's new here?
Not much, it appears. But while this result isn't quite as impressive as what we saw for Evil Dead, I think it's solid for a rated R horror remake that generated relatively little enthusiasm and stars as its lead an actress who technically isn't even old enough to watch it. How well the movie stands up over time is a matter of debate, but if any of us are still debating it a year from now, I'd say it passes that test, as well.