Last weekend, the top movie at the North American — actually, at the worldwide — box office was the critically lambasted 3D-converted sequel of a critically lambasted movie based on a toy. This weekend, besides the aforementioned 3D toy-movie sequel, two of the other top four movies at the North American box office will be the remake of a horror cult classic and the 3D-converted rerelease of a two-decade-old horror blockbuster. As the old saying goes, movie audiences want fresh, original ideas. That explains why the resurrected Evil Dead will be this weekend’s no. 1 movie, likely to be followed by G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Croods, and the resurrected dinosaurs in Steven Spielberg’s 3D-enhanced 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park. (Photo: Evil Dead 2013.)
According to early, rough box office estimates found at Deadline.com, Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead 2013 will likely overperform. Very early unofficial estimates had the horror remake grossing as much as $30m by Sunday evening, but by Friday night estimates had been downsized to (a still solid) $27 million following an estimated gross of $11.5 million at 3,025 locations on Friday, including $1.8 million earned at late and midnight Thursday screenings according to official studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.
Unsurprisingly, Evil Dead’s grosses from Thursday and midnight showings represent a sizable chunk of what Sam Raimi’s 1983 original (actually first screened in 1981) The Evil Dead earned during its entire run: $2.4 million, or about $6 million adjusted for inflation.
A TriStar (Sony Pictures) / FilmDistrict collaboration, Evil Dead features Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, 2005 Berlin Film Festival Best Actor Lou Taylor Pucci (Thumbsucker), Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore. Sam Raimi, for his part, is back as one of the 2013 Evil Dead producers, and so are The Evil Dead producer Robert G. Tapert and executive producer Bruce Campbell (now with a "producer" credit).
Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, and Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park 3D is expected to take in $18 million over the weekend, after pulling in an estimated $7 million on Friday. Both Channing Tatum / Dwayne Johnson’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation and DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods, featuring the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, and Nicolas Cage, are expected to bring in $21-$22 million by Sunday evening. Note: Official (studio) Friday estimates will be released Saturday morning; chances are there’ll be some adjusting to the early, rough estimates found in this piece. Weekend box office actuals will be published on Monday.
Producer Sam Raimi box office
Sam Raimi’s biggest hit as a producer — i.e., not including the Spider-Man movies with Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco, which he directed — is the 2004 horror thriller The Grudge, featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar. The Grudge opened with $39.12 million, or the equivalent of about $51 million today, eventually cuming at a remarkable $110.35 million in the U.S. and Canada, or about $143 million in 2013 dollars. Needless to say, there’s no chance Evil Dead 2013 will get even close to that figure.
The Evil Dead cast
For the record, the 1981/1983 The Evil Dead cast included executive producer Bruce Campbell (recently seen in Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful), Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly, Philip A. Gillis, and Dorothy Tapert (producer Robert G. Tapert’s sister).
Evil Dead 2013 picture: TriStar / Sony Pictures.