Box Office Special - Destination Trumps Halloween

Just like that it's over: one of the most highly anticipated weekends by horror fans in recent memory has come and gone. And while the merits of both "The Final Destination" and "Halloween 2" may be debated for some time, the box office results paint a far clearer picture. With $27 million in opening weekend revenue, "The Final Destination" won the showdown handily over Zombie's ill-received sequel, which netted $16 million -- good for third place behind "Inglorious Basterds." For the fourth installment of the "Destination" series, and the first in 3D, it was a nice win. Moreover, it was the single largest opening of any of the films in the series, so while many reviewers have been hammering the lack of vitality (no pun intended) evident in this latest edition, it's pretty apparent that the formula has something going for it.

As for Rob Zombie, the news isn't spectacular, but it also isn't bad. At $16 million, it came in $10 million short of its predecessor. It also did not fare well over the course of the weekend as there was a 26% drop from Friday to Saturday night. Compare that to previous weeks' winners, "District 9" and "Inglorious Basterds" (both highly anticipated genre offerings); they saw drops of 9% and 10% respectively from Friday to Saturday.

To a large extent "Halloween 2's" much steeper fall speaks to a lack of positive word of mouth, for one, but also a situation wherein most people who planned to see it -- mainly horror fans like those of us around here -- saw it early, which could mean an even bigger drop off next weekend if that bad buzz continues. And if you were curious, "Final Destination" had a pretty amazing Friday to Saturday performance, dropping only 6%.

The upshot for Zombie is pretty obvious though: his movie was very cheap. At $15 million, Zombie brought in his production budget in his first weekend out, and from here on he can sit back and enjoy the view. So again, while the praise might not be ecstatic for "Halloween 2," it's hard to spin it as anything but a financial success story.

Next weekend sees the release of an mildly-interesting looking apocalyptic thriller called "Carriers." If you're anything like me, you've probably heard next to nothing about this movie. Maybe I'm just watching the wrong TV shows, or it could be the fact that at 100 theaters, it's just not getting much of a release. Labor Day is more or less a dumping ground, and as a PG-13 "28 Days Later" knock-off, it's quite possible that there isn't a lot of faith in this one. But stayed tuned, as we're only weeks away from the next (obviously) great horror remake: "Sorority Row."

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