Never underestimate cheap horror flicks.
Whether it was a case of blockbuster burnout, mass demonic cultural possession or just a huge confluence of bad taste, the ultra-low budget exorcism film “The Devil Inside” brought in $34.5 million this past weekend to top the box office.
This despite the movie having no recognizable stars and an “F” Cinemascore (audience reaction) rating. What, people were telling their friends, you gotta see how bad this movie is?
Still, the movie’s success — it was made for less than $1 million — is part of a long history of cheap scare hits, from “Blair Witch” to “Saw” to “Paranormal Activity.”
If you want an explosive return on your money in Hollywood, horror’s the way to go. You may double your money — and that’s a big “may” — on some blockbuster, but why bother when you can make 35 times your investment the first week on a cheap scary movie?
Also seeing great success — in terms of expectations — this weekend was the excellent, cerebral spy yarn “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” which crossed the $10 million mark. No it’s not a blockbuster, but it wasn’t supposed to be — for an art house film to earn this much this fast is pretty impressive.
The top 10:
- “The Devil Inside” — $34.5 million
- “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” — Weekend $20.5M, Cumulative $170.2M
- “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows” — Weekend $14M, $157.4M
- “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” — Weekend $11.3M , $76.8M
- “Chipwrecked” — Weekend $9.5M, $111.5M
- “War Horse” — Weekend $8.6M, $56.8M
- “We Bought a Zoo” — Weekend $8.4M, $56.5M
- “The Adventures of Tin Tin” — Weekend $6.6M, $61.8M
- “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” — Weekend $5.7M, $10.4M
- “New Year’s Eve” — Weekend $3.2M, $52M