The box-office performance of "Evil Dead" should have brought a smile to the faces of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen.
The two star in "Scary Movie 5," which opens Friday, and what better time to launch a spoof than a week after a remake of a classic horror film scares up a $26 million debut?
"We were glad to see it do well," Erik Lomis, the Weinstein Company's head of distribution told TheWrap Monday. "The business tends to feed off the success of others, and this sure can't hurt."
The "Scary Movie" franchise has been a solid performer over the years. Three of the four previous films opened to more than $40 million, which is not bad for movies that typically cost less than $20 million. Lomis thinks some of those fans of "Evil Dead" will be ready for a laugh.
"There's going to be some overlap there," Lomis said. "We think we're going to do pretty well." Tracking has the film around the high-teen millions or hitting $20 million – about where "Evil Dead" was about this time last week.
There was a similar situation in January, when Open Road Films debuted "A Haunted House" one week after "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" had topped the box office.
The low-budget "Haunted House" nearly matched "Chainsaw" with an $18 million debut and has gone on to make $40 million. On Monday, Open Road announced they're going ahead with a sequel.
Following "Chainsaw" helped fuel the success of "A Haunted House," Open Road's marketing chief Jason Cassidy told TheWrap Monday, but he didn't feel that was the biggest factor.
"It was much more about the dearth of a spoof comedy in the months before our date. Marlon Wayans delivered a very funny movie and audiences were starved for it. That certainly helped demand," Cassidy said.
There hasn't been a comedy similar to "Scary Movie 5" since "Haunted House," so that's going to help, too.
But horror fans can be a interesting demographic group to track, and figure.
They turned out in droves for "Evil Dead," from Sony Tristar, FilmDistrict and Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures. The commentaries and fan reviews on the horror fan sites seemed far more positive than negative over the weekend, but "Evil Dead" audiences gave it a "C+" on the CinemaScore exit polling.
That's about as bad as grades get – a "D" score is almost unheard of – but not at all unusual for horror films, whose fans oddly seem to grade harder than most.
"I think maybe because we care about the genre itself," an individual with the handle Kandarian Demon posted at Horror.com.
"When I watch a new horror release, I admit I don't just judge the movie on it's own, I judge it on what it adds or takes away from my favorite genre. For example, if it seems to follow a current trend that I feel is ruining the horror genre as a whole, I will be really hard in my judgment of that movie."
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- Lindsay Lohan
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