Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

  • DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK box office
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  • Directed By: Troy Nixey
  • Written By: Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
  • Release Date: August 26, 2011
  • Domestic Distributor: FilmDistrict
  • Cast: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison

Box Office Info:
Budget: $28 millionFinanced by: Miramax
Domestic Box Office: $24,046,682Overseas Box Office: $12,946,486

don't be afraid of the dark 2011
The rights to remake the 1973 TV movie Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark were acquired by the Weinsteins at Miramax as a follow up project for Guillermo del Toro who had just helmed Mimic (1997).  His experience was so miserable on that picture that he refused to ever direct for the brothers again and it was not until the Weinsteins left Miramax that del Toro pursued the Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark property again. 

Disney retained the rights and the film was setup at Miramax with del Toro producing.  The budget for Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark was $28 million.  Filming completed in late 2009 and then the movie’s release was put in limbo when Disney decided to sell off Miramax.

In June 2010 Disney finally announced that they would handle distribution and dated Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark for January 21, 2011.  In mid October the mouse house dropped the picture and put it onto the market.  Pathé came on board to handle the foreign rights, which kicked off at the 2011 European Film Market in Berlin and the movie sold well to distributors.  The short lived domestic distributor FilmDistrict landed US rights.

FilmDistrict first dated Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark for August 12, but then moved it back to the slow end of summer frame on August 26.  It bowed against Colombiana and Our Idiot Brother and landed mixed reviews.  Tracking was pointing to a $14M opening but it underperformed with $8,525,728 — placing #4 for the very slow weekend led by the holdover The Help.  Also making matters worse that weekend was that Hurricane Irene hit the east coast and further depressed attendance and closed theaters.  Audiences gave the film a poor C- cinemascore, which isn’t unusual for a horror film and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark declined 39.1% to $5,195,268 in its second weekend.  It then sank 58.3% in its third frame to $2,166,846 and ended its domestic run with $24,046,682.  FilmDistrict would see returned about $13 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving part of their ad spend and acquisition cost in the red.

Overseas the horror film pulled in a weak $12.9M across numerous distributors, while going straight to video in major territories like France and Germany.

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