Horror pic healthy under Lionsgate's targeted rollout

Even though Lionsgate’s “The Cabin in the Woods” landed in third place domestically over the April 13-15 frame, the R-rated horror pic managed to scare up seven of the nation’s top 10 weekend engagements, thanks to a highly targeted Stateside rollout.

“Cabin” bowed to $14.7 million for the sesh, finishing behind Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games,” which added $21.1 million in its fourth frame, and Fox’s “The Three Stooges,” which debuted to $17 million.

But “Cabin” played at fewer locations (2,811) than either “Hunger Games” (3,916) or “Stooges” (3,477). And its per-theater success points to Lionsgate’s experience in releasing genre fare.

“We know the sweet spot for these movies,” says David Spitz, exec VP of distribution and general sales manager at Lionsgate. “When you’re dealing with an R-rated horror film, sometimes it simply won’t work in smaller markets.”

The pic’s top plexes — New York’s Empire 25, Arclight Hollywood and the Grove in Los Angeles — were, respectively, the weekend’s overall top-three grossing theaters.

“Cabin” rallied during early midweek with school back in session, beating “Stooges” for second place April 16-17. Spitz attributes the scarer’s resurgence in part to unusually glowing reviews and strong word of mouth.

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