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‘The Turning’ Turns Off Fans and Critics Alike; Finishes in Sixth Place at Weekend Box Office

If January’s horror releases are any indication of what the rest of the year will look like, fans may be in for a “scary bad” New Year!

January’s latest disaster came in the form of DreamWorks/Universal’s PG-13 The Turning, which effectively “turned away” ticket buyers this weekend, finishing in sixth place with an estimated $6.6 million in sales.

The long-delayed horror film (originally scheduled to be released on February 22, 2019) has the the dubious distinction of earning an F from Cinemascore, just a few weeks after The Grudge remake earned the same rare grade from viewers.  Only 20 films since 1979 have been graded F by opening night audiences, and the other metrics associated with The Turning seem to support this assessment.  Critics and fans agree that The Turning is one to turn off, giving the picture an identical 12% score on Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer and Audience Score). read more

‘Underwater’ Sinks Into Seventh Place at Weekend Box Office; ‘The Grudge’ Drops Out of Top Ten in Second Week

The second week of the new year delivers another dud at the box office for horror fans in the form of the Aliens-esque Underwater.  The Kristen Stewart headliner finished below sea-level, in seventh place, with an estimated take seven million dollars at the box office.

The metrics for Underwater weren’t good, earning a C from Cinemascore pollsters, but critics over at Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a decent 53% (and audiences gave it a higher 63%).   With a production budget in the $50 million range, Underwater will have a hard time staying afloat, even when international box office is considered. read more

Fans Hold a ‘Grudge’ Against New Sony Film at Box Office

A new year brings the promise of new beginning and a dedication to resolutions.  Some people decide to go to the gym more, eat less saturated fats, read Horror News Network more frequently, etc.  Others make even more lofty goals, such as reserving judgment about their co-workers or neighbors.

Unfortunately for Sony Pictures, horror fans had to break some of those resolutions only a few days into the new year, as it was apparent that the vast majority of people who bought tickets to see the Sam Raimi produced The Grudge had a legitimate ax to grind over the new reboot. read more

No Presents for ‘Black Christmas’ at Weekend Box Office

Sometimes you just don’t get the gifts you want around the holiday season, and sometimes you get a pair of cheap socks or a fruitcake mixed with concrete.  Unfortunately, the producers of Black Christmas received the later, as the new take on the 1970’s original opened with an estimated $4.5 million at the weekend box office.

Even though awareness of Black Christmas on social media platforms was reportedly high, the yuletide slasher movie did not connect with the intended young horror audience that the film was marketed to.  Not only did most of the target audience stay home, those that witnessed the Universal Pictures Black Christmas gave the film an abysmal D+ on Cinemascore and a 29% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. read more

‘Doctor Sleep’ Snoozes at Weekend Box Office

What a difference a week makes.  Last weekend, Terminator: Dark Fate debuted with an underwhelming $29 million, appearing to be one of the biggest financial flops of the year.  Well, the executives at Paramount can stop looking for time machines to return to the past and cancel production on Dark Fate, as Doctor Sleep is taking all of the media’s slings and arrows, declaring The Shining sequel as an even worse disaster at the box office.

Warner Bros. Doctor Sleep finished second at the box office this weekend with a comatose $14.1 million.  Initial tracking and projections placed the sequel in the $25-$30 million range.  Finishing with less than half of that total is the type of miscalculation and result that leads to pink slips all around (in addition to the fact that Doctor Sleep lost to Midway, a war film that was on no one’s radar). read more

‘Zombieland 2: Double Tap’ Finishes Third, ‘The Addams Family’ Drops to Fourth at Weekend Box Office

Facing the continued success of the scariest clown this fall season (Joker) and a good ole’ fashioned Disney witch (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil), Zombieland 2: Double Tap and The Addams Family had to settle for third and fourth place respectively at the weekend box office.

The star-studded cast of the original Zombieland returned for the sequel and delivered a respectable $26.7 million.  Double Tap outperformed the original (without taking inflation into account, of course) which made $24.7 million way back in 2009.  The new film also earned a B+ from those polled by Cinemascore on opening night and also clocked in with a score of 66% fresh on Rotten TomatoesZombieland 2: Double Tap will not have a great deal of competition for action/horror dollars next week, which should allow the film to hang out in next week’s top five (or six) as well. read more

‘The Addams Family’ Creeps Into Second Place at Weekend Box Office

Families turned out for a dose of nostalgia this weekend in the form of yet another reboot of The Addams Family, which earned just over $30 million in its opening frame for a second place finish at the box office.

Weekend audiences gave the film a B+ on CinemaScore, with women representing 59% of the opening weekend crowd.  48% of the overall audience was also under the age of 17, which is no surprise for an animated film.  The film fared much worse with critics, who gave the film an aggregate score of 44% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Top critics polled like the film even less, only accounting for a score of 27%.  In both cases, the sample size was low for a film with this wide of a release, with only 63 reviews recorded.  The film will have added competition next week from Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil  so The Addams Family should see a sharp decline (60% or more).  The Halloween season may help the film in coming weeks if the kooky family can endure the assault of the popular witch from Sleeping Beauty. read more

‘It: Chapter Two’ Repeats as Weekend Box Office Champ

It: Chapter Two delivered another win for Warner Brothers and New Line with a second consecutive number one finish at the weekend box office.

Pennywise accounted for an estimated $40.7 million, beating newcomer Hustlers by a wide margin, which earned an estimated $33.2 million in second place.  Hustlers had the upper hand on Friday (mainly due to Thursday preview sales, which are always included in Friday totals), but that pesky clown scared enough people into the the theater on Saturday and Sunday to take the crown once again. read more

‘It: Chapter Two’ Takes Top Spot at Box Office Carnival with $91 Million

In probably the least surprising box office news of the year, It: Chapter Two dominated all competition at the weekend box office with an estimated $91 million start, although not all of the numbers associated with the sequel are as rosy red as Pennywise’s favorite balloons.

The much more expensive sequel (more than double the first film’s 35 million dollar budget, coming in at $79 million) laughed all the way to the bank for the second best start for a September release, the second best start for a horror film, and the fourth best ever opening for a R-rated feature.  With no direct competition until the original mad clown, The Joker, arrives on October 4, It: Chapter Two should continue to deliver solid numbers for all of September and into the Halloween month of October when horror films traditionally reign supreme. read more

‘Ready or Not’ Finishes in Sixth Place in Weekend Box Office Race

Despite all of the hype and positive word-of-mouth and critical reception, Ready or Not wasn’t completely ready to dominate the box office this weekend, finishing in sixth place in what has been a particularly underwhelming season for horror films.

Ready or Not brought in a total of $7.5 million over the 3 day weekend, and $10.5 million since its debut on Tuesday night.  Fox Searchlight tried their best to capture audience attention before the weekend began (and Ready or Not is their widest release ever with 2,855 screens), but the film couldn’t muster enough momentum after the early start, even with the highest Cinemascore for a horror movie this summer (B+) and a current score of 87% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.   Ready or Not may find a larger audience on home video platforms, but the bride as “Most Dangerous Game” tale (which surprisingly avoided the scrutiny of President Donald Trump and others, even though it bears many similarities to the recently cancelled Universal film, The Hunt) will be lucky to end its cinematic run with anything north of $25 million. read more