Blade 2: Bloodhunt

Release Date: March 22, 2002
Release pushed back up again from March 27, 2002

Wesley's sword is so big that he can give himself a reach-around.

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The year of the fan-boy, 2002, kicks off with the first fan-boy release: Blade 2: Bloodhunt. The movie, based on the moderately-successful Marvel comic book, is the sequel to the surprising 1998 hit Blade. The film sees Wesley Snipes return in the title role as a half-vampire/half-human who has sworn to protect the world from the evil of vampires. Also returning is Kris Kristofferson in the role of Whistler, and while the energy that vibrated through the original was supplied by director Stephen Norrington, in his stead is director Guillermo del Toro, a former special effects supervisor who lists Mimic as his only major Hollywood directorial contribution.

There's no doubting the popularity of the original Blade. Its debut in August of 1998 is considered a surprising success, as it pulled in $17.07 million in its opening weekend and went on to gross a total of $70.1 million. Its total rental figures are a brisk $29.12 million and that coincided with what is arguably considered to be the first truly big and successful DVD release. Since its debut on television, the movie has enjoyed repetitive play on national networks.

All the ingredients are there for a large hit, and the previous box-office evidence suggests that this week in March has traditionally seen some excellent box-office performances, including Liar, Liar, Erin Brokovich and Spy Kids. The fact that it is a sequel and that the market will be free of any serious competition bodes well for the film, and a strong showing is almost a guarantee. The record for a debut in March is Liar, Liar's $31.42 million, and it would not be a surprise if Blade 2 surpassed that. (Walid Habboub/BOP)

The March shell game is in full force right now with a ton of heavyweight contenders all negotiating to get the best spot for a strong opening weekend. Blade 2, which might be the top release for the month, has moved three times in the last two weeks but the New Line website now reports that March 22 is where the movie will make its stand. This puts the sequel up against the re-release of E.T. and the frat boy (?) comedy Sorority Girls and leaves more breathing room for the movie away from the March 27 weekend where six titles are currently scheduled for wide theatrical release. (David Mumpower/BOP)

March 20, 2002
More appropriately, this film could be titled Blade 2 Little 2 Late thanks to the almost non-existent ad campaign that is supporting it. What was promising to be the biggest movie of March seems poised to fall well short of that distinction thanks in no small part to the incredible performance of this past weekend's blockbuster, Ice Age.

Regardless of Ice Age's performance, the less-than-frequent advertising for Blade 2 is really disappointing seeing as how the ads themselves are very good. And while this is a far cry from early trailers and TV spots, the quality increase surely cannot make up for lack of quantity/frequency. The net advertising has been very solid and net awareness is quite high, as can be expected, so maybe New Line knows something that the rest of us don't. Of course, the other angle here is that New Line might be hoping to capitalize on quality and do repeat business, a theory that can be backed up by the excellent early word of mouth received by the film.

All in all, it is quite puzzling why this film hasn't been given a bigger push. It had all the makings of a big hit but the advertising would indicate that it won't be as big as it could have been. Still, it should do over $20 million opening weekend as its predecessor pulled in $17.07 million. Hopefully, instant recognition will take place with the film and it'll be able to capitalize on product familiarity. If it does fall flat New Line will surely have regrets about the way they advertised it. (Walid Habboub/BOP)

Vital statistics for Blade 2: Bloodhunt
Main Cast Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela
Supporting Cast Norman Reedus, Thomas Kretschmann, Luke Goss
Director Guillermo del Toro
Screenwriter David S. Goyer
Distributor New Line Cinema
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 117 minutes
Screen Count 2,707
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Blade 2: Bloodhunt
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
X2: X-Men United 5/2/0385.56 85.56 3741 22871.00 22871.0 214.95 214.95 2.51
X-Men, The 7/14/0054.47 60.93 3025 18007.00 19376.7 157.30 175.97 2.89
Batman Forever 6/16/9552.78 73.16 2842 18571.00 24761.3 184.03 255.10 3.49
Batman Returns 6/19/9247.72 69.33 2644 18048.00 25223.7 162.83 236.59 3.41
Batman and Robin 6/20/9742.87 56.31 2934 14611.00 18462.7 107.33 140.99 2.50
Batman 6/23/8942.71 64.54 2194 19467.00 28297.9 251.19 379.62 5.88
Spy Kids 3/30/0126.55 28.33 3104 8552.00 8779.0 106.26 113.41 4.00
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3/30/9025.40 36.29 2006 12662.00 17402.7 135.27 193.28 5.33
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 3/22/9120.03 28.68 2868 6984.00 9621.7 78.58 112.55 3.92
Exit Wounds 3/16/0118.49 19.73 2830 6532.00 6705.4 51.76 55.24 2.80
Romeo Must Die 3/24/0018.01 20.14 2641 6819.00 7337.7 55.97 62.61 2.74
Blade 8/21/9817.07 21.94 2322 7351.00 9090.8 70.10 90.12 4.11
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 8/9/0216.71 17.37 3307 5053.00 5053.0 85.63 89.02 4.63
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 3/19/9312.42 18.08 2087 5951.00 8337.1 42.27 61.56 3.36
Passenger 57 11/6/9210.51 15.27 1734 6061.00 8470.8 44.07 64.03 4.19
Art of War, The 8/25/0010.41 11.64 2630 3958.00 4259.1 30.10 33.67 2.89
Murder at 1600 4/18/977.96 10.45 2152 3699.00 4674.1 25.84 33.94 3.25
Drop Zone 12/9/946.14 9.07 2020 3040.00 4321.6 28.61 42.28 4.66



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