May 12, 2012
It looks like Dark Shadows is facing dark times. The film is not faring well at all, with theaters dropping showings only to add more showings of The Avengers. That’s not a good look. What happened? If you ask me, I think the television spots and trailers, teasers did the trick. I think they should have focused on the scarier parts of the movie…
According to Deadline is “anemic”:
How do you know your new movie is in trouble? When exhibitors want your pic to share supersized screens with your holdover rival that’s a mega-hit. Oops. Turns out Warner Bros felt it had no choice but to buckle under the theaters’ demands to extend Disney’s big screen run. So Warner Bros’ Dark Shadows is losing a morning show and an evening show to Marvel’s The Avengers every day from Friday until May 25. Warner Bros insisted to me this will be revenue neutral because some large-screen venues were added for the staggered showtimes. But the two pics also are competing overseas. Disney thinks $1B is possible worldwide through Sunday for Avengers which is playing almost everywhere. Meanwhile Dark Shadows is eking out its big international debut this weekend in 42 major markets except Japan, Brazil, and Mexico. The comedic gothic thriller earned $770,000 in France where Depp and his family reside. But the studio’s new vampire sendup of the vintage TV daytime soap is a disappointment at the North American box office.
Dark Shadows opened by making a so-so $550K during midnight screenings from 1,600 locations overnight. But it didn’t draw blood from 3,755 theaters later, either. instead it was creeping out of the gate with only about $9.7M Friday for at best a $28M weekend – unless Saturday picks up. Even though adaptations from TV to film generally perform modestly, Dark Shadows was predicted to earn a minimum of $35M — which is feeble considering the pic’s budget was a costly $150M-$175M.
One of the problems facing the movie, and there are many, is the approach. Barnabas Collins was–and this is before my time–not a slapstick funny guy.
Yup, real funny!
They turned a good gothic film into something funny and that is where Burton made a grievous mistake. People like vampire films, but I don’t know if they like really funny ones. And I think that moviegoers might just be tired of the Burton-Depp partnership turning these movies into dark comedies.
The TV spots didn’t do a lot of help either. They highly emphasized the funnier aspects of the movie, and not the darker ones, giving us the idea that this is just a comedy about a fish out of a water, even if it’s dead and reanimated by dark forces. With the Avengers covering action AND comedy, Dark Shadows needed to come better than that, and it failed.
We’ll have a complete Dark Shadows video review later! But first, I’m off to play some football at the park.
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