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Renée Zellweger Has Another Box Office Dud + Horror Remake Flops

Case 39 Renée ZellwegerCase 39 with Renée Zellweger: Box office flop.
  • This past weekend, two modestly budgeted horror thrillers have bombed at the domestic box office: Case 39, which happens to be the latest Renée Zellweger underperformer, and Matt Reeves’ Let Me In, a remake of the (in relative terms) more successful Swedish original Let the Right One In.

Weekend box office bombs: Renée Zellweger horror thriller Case 39 & Matt Reeves’ vampire movie remake Let Me In

Oct. 1–3 weekend box office (cont.): David Fincher’s acclaimed Facebook drama The Social Network had a solid debut in the North American (U.S. and Canada only) market, but two other new releases – both horror thrillers – failed to entice audiences: Paramount Vantage’s Case 39, starring Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger (Cold Mountain, 2003), and Overture Films’ Let Me In, the U.S. remake of Tomas Alfredson’s well-regarded Swedish arthouse hit Let the Right One In.

Directed by Christian Alvart back in 2006 on a $26 million budget, Case 39 landed at no. 7 on the domestic chart (titles nos. 2–6 are found further below), grossing a paltry $5.4 million from 2,211 venues ($2,419 average) as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.

Directed by Matt Reeves on a $20 million budget, Let Me In landed at no. 8 with $5.1 million from 2,020 venues ($2,548 average).

The tale of a social worker (Renée Zellweger) enmeshed in a particularly creepy child abuse case, Case 39 also features The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’s newborn vampire Jodelle Ferland as the alleged victim, Bradley Cooper as a psychiatrist who has the bad luck of trying to help the young girl, and veteran Ian McShane (If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium) as a detective working on the case.

The tale of a bullied 12-year-old human boy who begins a romantic relationship with a vampire girl, Let Me In features Kodi Smit-McPhee as the boy, Chloë Grace Moretz as the girl, Elias Koteas, Dylan Minnette, and Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, 2008).

Renée Zellweger needs a hit

Of late, Renée Zellweger – who, earlier in the century, had major hits with Bridget Jones’ Diary and Chicago – hasn’t been at all lucky at the domestic box office.

For instance: Though an unquestionable flop, Case 39 grossed on one single weekend more than My One and Only (2009) and Miss Potter (2006) collected during their entire run: $2.5 million and $3 million, respectively.

In fact, Zellweger’s biggest draw since Ron Howard’s 2005 boxing drama Cinderella Man ($61.6 million cume on an $88 million budget) was George Clooney’s 2008 period romantic comedy Leatherheads, itself another sizable box office disappointment ($31.4 million cume on a $58 million budget). In the former, Zellweger shared the screen with Russell Crowe, then at/near the peak of his popularity; in the latter, her costars were Clooney and John Krasinski.

Let Me In Kodi Smit-McPhee Chloë Grace MoretzLet Me In with Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz in the roles played by Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson in Let the Right One In. Matt Reeves, who had a notable sleeper hit with Cloverfield in early 2008, directed the remake of the Swedish arthouse hit.

Two box office money-losers

Update: The Renée Zellweger supernatural thriller Case 39 ultimately collected $13.3 million domestically and $14.9 million internationally (apparently incomplete, as it looks like several major territories weren’t fully tallied). Worldwide total: $28.2 million.

Its top international markets were Spain ($3.8 million), Mexico ($3.3 million), Russia/CIS ($2.3 million), and Brazil ($1 million).

The horror thriller Let Me In ultimately collected $12.1 million domestically and $15 million internationally. Worldwide total: $27.1 million.

Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($2.2 million), Italy ($1.9 million), Russia/CIS ($1.3 million), Mexico ($1.3 million), Spain ($1.2 million), and Hong Kong ($1.1 million).

Despite their modest budget, neither movie earned enough to break even at the box office.

Trailing The Social Network but ahead of Case 39 on the domestic chart

For the record, sandwiched between The Social Network and Case 39 on this past weekend’s box office chart were the following titles:


“Renée Zellweger Has Another Box Office Dud” endnotes

Unless otherwise noted, “Renée Zellweger Has Another Box Office Dud + Horror Remake Flops” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).

Comments about Case 39, Let Me In, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).

Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Renée Zellweger Case 39 movie image: Paramount Vantage.

Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz Let Me In movie image: Overture Films.

“Renée Zellweger Has Another Box Office Dud + Horror Remake Flops” last updated in October 2022.

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