Audiences welcomed Freddy Krueger back into their nightmares this weekend – a new and not necessarily improved version of the saber-clawed dream-killer that debuted back in 1984. Freddy’s latest incarnation in A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) earned an estimated $32.2 million over its first three days; an impressive debut second only, in the annals of horror movie remakes, to 2009’s Friday the 13th relaunch.
|1||Nightmare on Elm Street||$32,200,000||$32.2|
|2||How to Train Your Dragon||$10,825,000||$192.3|
|4||The Back-Up Plan||$7,240,000||$22.9|
|7||Clash of the Titans||$5,980,000||$154|
|9||Death at a Funeral||$4,000,000||$34.7|
The recent Friday the 13th redux may have made a record-breaking $40.2 million on its first weekend last February, but fan backlash soon led to an equally record-breaking second weekend drop of over 80%. The film ended its run with a domestic total of just $65 million: not bad when the film’s tiny $19 million budget is factored in, but also not good enough to ensure that a planned Friday 2 in 3D would be ready by August 13th, 2010.
This weekend’s new Nightmare, from the same producers that resurrected Jason, may have suffered from its predecessor’s bad word of mouth. In terms of horror, Freddy films have been more profitable (per individual release) than the Jason canon, earning a total of $540 million over eight features when adjusted for inflation. This time out, however, it looks like Jason will have the edge over Freddy.
The cost on Nightmare was a reported $35 million, or more than $15 million more than Friday. The price disparity is at least partially explained by the need to hire an actor that could actually speak to fill Freddy’s clawed gloves. Friday was no winner with critics, earning a Rotten Tomato score of just 25%, but even that bests Nightmare‘s current rank of 15% on the site.
In terms of numbers, A Nightmare on Elm Street took in an estimated $9,665 per screen from its debut in 3,332 locations. And that was without a holiday weekend or a release date gimmick like “see it on Friday the 13th” to fall back on. So that’s good news! The best news for the producers and New Line, however, is the fact that their Nightmare earned back most of its reported budget on its first weekend because, let’s face it, it’s all downhill from here. And it’s not like a sequel is gonna be easy to greenlight without fan support.
If the Tomato score looked bad on Elm Street, check out the rating for the week’s other new release: Summit Entertainment’s Furry Vengeance. It’s 02%! That is not a typo. It is, I believe, the lowest rating I’ve seen in the past two years. All About Steve did better! In terms of all that awful, the Brendan Fraser comedy was fully expected to bomb and it did not disappoint, debuting with an estimated $6.5 million from 2,997 locations.
In terms of holdovers, the big story continues to be the percentage holds that DA’s How to Train Your Dragon has been pulling off week after week. In this, its sixth weekend, the 3D toon fell just 29.5%, bringing it within spitting distance of the once fabled $200 million mark domestically. Meanwhile, Fox’s Date Night is also experiencing great staying power. The comedy lost more than 200 theatres in its fourth week but shed just 27.4% of its previous week’s gross. The domestic total for Date Night now stands at $73.6 million.
I hardly need tell you that next week Iron Man 2 will kick off the 2010 ‘summer’ box office season. Tony Stark is already doing big business overseas – the sequel bowed in first place in six territories including France on Wednesday where it outdid the debut of the original Iron Man by 11%. Call me crazy, but I’m expecting big things from this little sleeper!