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Monday, May 10, 2010

Horror And The Summer Blockbuster

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How many people are really surprised by the fact that the new Nightmare film, which was only in it's second weekend, got destroyed at the box office by Iron Man 2?
Nobody should be shocked by this, a remake that got mixed reviews up against an original, entertaining film based off a popular comic book hero. My point in this post is that I can remember when horror movies were the summer blockbuster films and I wander what it will take to make it that way again. Horror films used to gross a lot of money in their theatrical run in the 70's and 80's, and really they were selling more tickets then because ticket prices were much cheaper. Take Nightmare On Elm Street 3 for example, that film made a little over $44 million in it's run. The new Nightmare will creep up to around $65 million if it is lucky and that will be it. Technically the new Nightmare film will make more money but if you adjusted for inflation, The Dream Warriors would have blown it out of the water. MANY more people back then went to the theaters to watch horror. In fact, Jaws is often called the father of the summer blockbuster season. Jaws was released on June 20 1975 and went on to gross over $470 million, that is 1.9 billion in 2010 dollars. Obviously, all of the horror remakes coming out are not going to be blockbusters and then the horror films that are original, like The Human Centipede, don't appeal to a wide enough audience. What kind of horror film would it take to beat back the Avatars and Iron Man 2's of today? Do you think the box office will ever be as good to horror as it was in the 80's? Hell, it's tough for a horror film to top $100 million now and that's just pathetic.