Remakes can, more often than not, miss rather than hit. Coming in at $25.7 million during its opening weekend, The Evil Dead obviously lands in the much more coveted hit group. Meanwhile, somewhere else in the top 5 the re-release of Jurassic Park shows studios that 3D conversions of classics can still earn big at the box office when done right.
The Evil Dead was one of those success stories that none, with maybe the exception of a few very invested individuals, saw coming. Although the original film first premiered back in October 1981, a proper commercial release didn’t come until much later, in April 1983. With just $0.6 million from North American theaters, The Evil Dead was not breaking any records. It was worldwide distribution that made this flick’s already small budget, back. Years passed and it became a cult classic, often selling VHS tapes better than other much popular films of the time (like The Shinning). In 1987 Sam Raimi remade his original with the same Bruce Campbell, calling it The Evil Dead 2. With over $5.9 million made during its theatrical run, a 3rd film was now a given. The year of 1993 brought us Army of Darkness, probably one of my (and I bet I’m not alone) favorite films of all time. This was the 3rd and final film in the series, or so we thought.
20 years later, and with the Sam Raimi – Bruce Campbell duo taking producer seats behind the camera, we got The Evil Dead, another remake of the original story. Now Sony had some big shoes to fill here and for the most part, it seems they did a fine job (have not seen it myself, yet) and the film’s $25.7 million debut speaks volumes. From what I’ve seen and heard, the movie is very brutal and unlike the originals, not as humorous. So like all horrors, expect a big drop next week. Overall I think The Evil Dead will finish around $50 to 60 million in North America, a great result.
In 2nd and 3rd G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Croods were neck-a-neck with $20.8 million and $20.6 million respectively. The bigger earner here is the animation with $125.3 million so far while Retaliation grossed $86.4 million after 11 days.
Jurassic Park 3D opened with $18.6 million in 4th, bringing the overall gross of the classic to $375.6 million. With a bit of luck (and good box office legs) this could become the 16th film to ever pass the $400 million mark. Better late than never I say.
Olympus Has Fallen rounds out the top 5 with $10.1 million for a total of $71.2 million. Now the glove is in Sony’s yard for its very similar (and probably more expensive) White House Down.
So, question of the day, remake of a beloved classic, yay or nay?