Is it time to panic yet? Last week I told you about
According to studio estimates, House at the End of The Street [gratuitous picture of Jennifer Lawrence's cleavage included] and End of Watch are tied with $13 million, while Trouble with the Curve isn’t far behind and could ultimately move up to the top spot. Without any break-out hit, the Top 12 earned an estimated $76.6 million this weekend, which is off a whopping 28 percent from the same frame last year.
House at the End of the Street topped recent “House” horror movies Dream House ($8.1 million) and Silent House ($6.7 million), but was a bit behind Last House on the Left ($14.1 million). The audience skewed young (70 percent under 25) and female (61 percent), and it was also predominantly Latino (52 percent). They gave the movie a “B” CinemaScore.
Seriously, there are enough other crappy horror movies with “house” in the title to be a basis for comparison? Gee, I can’t imagine why people weren’t rushing away from their flat screens in a hurry to buy seven-dollar popcorn for that one. Hey, but what about Dredd 3D? Wasn’t that one actually good?
In sixth place, comic book adaptation/remake Dredd bombed with just $6.3 million from 2,506 locations. That’s less than one-third of Kick-Ass‘s $19.8 million, and only a little over half of the original Judge Dredd‘s $12.3 million (and that movie was considered a flop 17 years ago!). It’s at least up on Shoot ‘Em Up ($5.7 million) and about on par with April’s Lockout ($6.2 million), though those comparisons suggest Dredd is on track for less than $20 million through its entire run.
Dredd‘s awful performance is the latest example of how the Comic-Con/online fanboy crowd just doesn’t make up a large portion of the moviegoers in this country. The movie came out of its Comic-Con screening in July with tons of online buzz and very strong reviews, and it maintained a 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes through at least its first 25 reviews (though it ultimately wound up at a more-reasonable 77 percent). As a result, the fanboy audience was very aware of this movie ahead of release, and anticipation seemed to be pretty high among this group as well. Ultimately, though, it’s just not a big-enough group to drive strong business. For a good dissection of the hazards of targeting fanboys, check out this piece from earlier this year in The Hollywood Reporter. [BoxOfficeMojo]
While it goes without saying that you shouldn’t hang your movie’s hopes on a neckbeard-centric marketing campaign, I don’t think this is really the best example of that. It ignores two important factors. First, it just wasn’t marketed that much. Not compared to other big action sci-fi films. I mean how many more ads have you seen for Looper? Dredd didn’t even screen for critics in some markets. Secondly, after Stallone’s 1995 Judge Dredd, releasing a movie called “Dredd” just has insurmountably negative name recognition. Remember ValuJet, and how they had to change their name? Dredd is the movie equivalent of starting a new airline called “ValuJet.” Even if it’s great, who’s going to want to find out? As a wise man named Jules once said, “sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I’d never know because I’d never eat the filthy motherf*cker.”
Moreover, a good 3D remake is still a 3D remake. And you’re not going to turn this kind of slide around with remakes.
I want more like this!
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