After the seventh film in the splatter series surprised everyone by beating films like The Hobbit, Django Unchained and Les Miserables to win the weekend box office with a $21.7 million gross, you know a sequel is inevitable. But according to Mazzocone, its timing is his to dictate, and he and Burg say nothing will happen until they work out the creative beats with domestic distributor Lionsgate.
“The rights are controlled by Carl and Main Line Pictures, no matter what Millennium says,” Burg told me. “Millennium simply sold the foreign rights and they will not tell us when a sequel is ready to be made. The script was developed by Carl, myself and writer/director John Luessenhop. Millennium and about ten producers came aboard only when we needed their check. Maybe they’re looking for something to sell at Berlin, but they have no right to announce this sequel and if we make another it has to be as good or better than this one and that takes time.”
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise because it is well documented that horror films tend to be very front-loaded and exhaust demand and audience interest very quickly. To announce a sequel immediately after a solid (but not ground-breaking) opening weekend seemed irresponsible, especially when considering that the movie has already experienced a sharp box-office decline during the week.
The big draw for this movie was the 3D aspect, and with those premium prices in mind, its box-office performance has been average at best. This swift U-turn suggests that a lot of emphasis is, quite rightly, being put on the movie’s performance going into its second weekend at the US box-office.
Next up it will face stiff competition from openers – Gangster Squad, A Haunted House and the recently Academy Award nominated Zero Dark Thirty, which is expanding for a nationwide release.