Cinemetal

Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem Aren’t Lords of the Box Office

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I was gonna warn you all against seeing Rob Zombie’s atrocious new directorial effort, The Lords of Salem, but apparently I don’t have to. I went to see the movie on Saturday night at the AMC on 34th street — always one of Manhattan’s busiest theaters and usually a great place to see lowbrow horror fare (the crowds are very vocal, for lack of a better term) — and there were only about fifteen people in the theater.

Unsurprisingly, then, the film’s opening weekend grosses were unimpressive, with Deadline noting that “The thriller bowed in 355 theaters, though it was comparatively slight with a $1,752 average and a gross of $622K.” To give you some sense of what that means: according to Box Office Mojo, other limited releases this weekend included the sports film Home Run, which opened in 381 theaters with a per-screen average of $4,260 and a total gross of $1,623,000, and the indie drama Filly Brown, which only opened at 188 theaters, but had a per-screen average of $7,250 and a total gross of $1,363,000. In fact, The Lords of Salem had the lowest per-screen average of ANY new release this weekend.

So is Lords of Salem a disaster? It’s tough to say. Anchor Bay paid $2 million for U.S. distribution rights (plus who knows how much on marketing — not enough, apparently), and with the grosses this low right off the bat and word of mouth sure to be shitty (the audience I saw the movie with laughed at moments that clearly were not intended to elicit such a reaction), it seems pretty clear that they’re not gonna make their money back theatrically. They’ve still got home video and rental sales to look forward to, but like CD purchases, those ain’t what they used to be. So Anchor Bay might make their money back in the long run, but they’re definitely gonna hafta work for it.

One way or the other, this much is clear: from a financial standpoint, The Lords of Salem is going to be Rob Zombie’s least-successful movie ever, and by a large margin. Oops.

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