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“EVIL DEAD” to win the weekend box office

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The jockeying to report box-office news first has gotten to the point where weekend totals are being estimated on Friday afternoons. But it already looks like EVIL DEAD is a safe bet to hit the number-one spot in its opening frame.

Deadline is reporting that the TriStar-released remake will do $11-15 million on 3,025 screens today based on matinee trends, setting it up to gross in the $30-million range for the weekend (it took in a solid $1.8 million in Thursday late-night shows). That’s a very strong launch for a hardcore R-rated horror feature and should be the best genre opening of the year, beating out Universal’s MAMA, which took in $28.4 million in its first three days in January. The new film directed by Fede Alvarez and godfathered by EVIL DEAD creators Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell is on track to be one of the best-selling horror movies ever on Fandango, making up 35 percent of its on-line ticket sales today.

EVIL DEAD won’t unseat 2009’s FRIDAY THE 13TH, which had the best horror-remake first weekend ever with $40.6 million (though it collapsed thereafter and topped out at $65 mil); the current champ among ’70s/’80s reboots is 2003’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, which grossed a total of $80.6 million. Second place this weekend looks likely to go to JURASSIC PARK 3D, which appears headed for $15-18 million for the three-day period. Refined estimates will be reported Sunday afternoon and actual figures on Monday.

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor, the position he holds to this day while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews.
  • NixEclips

    Good. I haven’t seen the movie, yet, but a remake is still more appealing than the same film re-tooled for 3-D.

    • Belial

      Jurassic Park was great in 3D. (if that’s what you mean) I’d rather see a movie I already like, than a new version of it.

      • NixEclips

        I don’t think re-releasing the original The Evil Dead in 3-D would be a good idea. Just seeing the cleaned up print in a theater was hilarious. I trust you on Jurassic. That’s just a good movie, if you killed the kids.

  • Michael Connolly

    Good, film was great. Easily one of the top 3 horror re-makes of the last 10 years.

  • The_Pin_Cushion_Man

    As a huge ED fan, the film didn’t really work for me. The drug subtext wasn’t utilized very well and the tall long haired evil Mia character (reminiscent of The Ring and The Grudge) added a derivative element of J-horror to a series that was already fairly derivative of The Exorcist. The end when Mia goes all Sigourney Weaver was just dumb, especially her Ash-like catchphrases. Despite a pretty hardcore prologue which hinted at great things, it wasn’t scary. David Edelstein of The New Yorker summed up my thoughts pretty well: “In 20 years, who is going to choose to watch this over the original?” Fair point. The original Evil Dead is and remains a slumber party classic. So far, Carpenter’s Thing and Savini’s NOTLD 90 are the only two amazing horror remakes that surpass the originals or come close.

  • Belial

    It’s great when a gore movie makes money, but it sucks that it’s a remake. Good or not, they don’t deserve our money!

  • jonnyfrag

    I really wanted to like this because I thought that it might be better because of whatever involvement the original guys had. It really seems as though they had very little really outside of a cash stake. I got what the director was trying to do, he just didn’t pull it off very well. I was instantly off put because of one of the shots in the, as Mike’s review rightly says, totally needless intro to the movie, contained an obvious CGI shot while having really made a big deal as ‘CGI is a no no word on this set!’ quotes were flying in online interviews. So I felt that they had already blown a big promise that they didn’t keep right off the bat.

    Another thing, Fango even did a print interview with the scorer and was talking about how proud he was of this work which included things like alarm sirens going off as part of the soundtrack to heighten the tension. Guess what? Out of my informal polling of the 5 of my group that saw it, everyone thought it was horribly out of place and annoying. This was a sample of various ages, 14, 18, 19(x2), 33 and 40. So across any demo, it didn’t work, although I will admit that the younger crowd thought it was for the most part scary and good (and ultra gory, I’ll give them that one too easily.) The one it worked best on was the one that really was less familiar with ( but has seen) the original. By working best I mean she said “Honey, I want to watch what you watch but this one was too much. It was really disturbing, like altering sleep patterns for a few days disturbing.) But perhaps the coolest thing was that the late teen group, who is the target demo for the movie also thought it even had some goofy moments that made them laugh, like when a possessed flies across the room at someone. So it actually will have a little of the goofy charm the original at the time that it was squarely aimed at us, because we happened to be the demo at the time.

    So there is a break down of polling data of a very small subset of data ranging from a rabid fan of the original wearing nostalgia eyes and what the current demo thought (that happened to also get nearly all of the direct references to all 3 of the original movies peppered here and there, maybe just not quite enough of them though.)
    I was kinda happy that I happened to have won a couple of free passes from the radio to see it just because it made it cheaper, because I might have over paid for what was a little bit of a letdown to me, but I am a definite original 3 nerd…like many on this site probably are as well.

  • jonnyfrag

    Also, for what it’s worth (nothing) I actually thought the Texas Chainsaw 3D movie earlier did a proper job of paying proper homage to the original (with all of the attention to details from props to casting to jazz the rabid fans of the original) and still telling a new third act that was fresh and made me excited to see where they might take a sequel.

    Note the fact that I am ignoring the really huge problem of age of the main character due to above mentioned attention to detail to the original (using the date of the original movie for the ‘story start date’ and still having the hot 20s girl as the lead.) It really would have been quite a different movie if the main character was a forty year old woman. One that would have not had enough appeal to make any money in the current age demo to make the welcomed sequel more possible. It’s maybe on the fence a bit as it is. I’ve not heard of any firm plans that a sequel was green lit, but I may have just not caught that news item if it has.

  • Diggy78

    I thought the music was weak. The blaring alarm was used excessively and laughable. A minimalist score (think There Will Be Blood) would’ve been unnerving. The original ED has alot of cool things going on sound-wise.

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