Fright Night

  • fright night box office
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  • Directed By: Craig Gillespie
  • Written By: Marti Noxon
  • Release Date: August 19, 2011
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant

Box Office Info:
Budget: $30 million Financed by: DreamWorks; Reliance
Domestic Gross: $18,302,607 Overseas Gross: $22,700,000

fright night 2011
After DreamWorks ended its distribution partnership with Paramount in 2008, the mini-major did not have a single film in production or a line of financing.  In February 2009 DreamWorks inked a new distribution arrangement with Disney and landed an $825 million credit line from the Indian company Reliance.  Flush with capital, they put six projects into production and two of those would hemorrhage cash — Fright Night and Cowboys & Aliens.

DreamWorks announced the remake of the 1985 cult picture in May 2009, one year after Twilight became a box office phenomenon and when studios were scrambling to develop hip vampire properties to exploit.  The budget for Fright Night was $30 million with DreamWorks and Reliance financing.   It was dated for August 19, 2011 and was released after a deluge of vampire fare and the ever obnoxious fanfare around the last chapters of the Twilight pictures were just gearing up.

The picture was tracking soft and was expected to open in the low teens.  It bowed against Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, One Day and the disastrous Conan The Barbarian remake, which would have some audience overlap with Fright Night.  Surprisingly, the film landed decent reviews but it tanked with $7,714,388 (even with price gouging 3D surcharges) — placing #6 for the weekend led by the holdover The Help (a DreamWorks co-production).  The horror comedy lost 59.8% of its audience the following weekend when the horror flop Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark opened and it pulled in $3,103,227.  Fright Night posted another steep 58% decline in its third frame to $1,302,223 and it ended its stateside run with just $18,302,607.

Disney released the picture in most markets overseas and the cume was only $22.7 million.  The worldwide total was $41M and about $22.5M would be returned after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving tens of millions worth of global P&A expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.

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