You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Inside Move: M’max’s ‘Scary’ beats Rhino

Of horror-parody rivals, one wins gold while other eats dust

With domestic box office of more than $140 million, Dimension Films’ “Scary Movie” now stands as the most successful release in Miramax history. But some say the scariest movie would be the one that shows the lengths to which Miramax has gone to beat Rhino Entertainment’s rival horror parody, “I Know What You Screamed Last Semester,” to the marketplace.

For Rhino’s “I Know,” the first frightening portents came not long after it beat “Scary” into production in the spring of 1999. Dimension tried to acquire the Rhino spoof, which was helmed by John Blanchard and stars Tom Arnold, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Coolio. Rhino rejected the offer when Dimension refused to commit to a theatrical release for the film.

Then, just before Christmas, Lions Gate picked up worldwide rights to the Rhino title. The looming presence of “Scary” didn’t spur Lions Gate into rushing its pic into theaters ahead of the Miramax juggernaut. In fact, Lions Gate didn’t announce the deal until this past March, with plans for a summer release that put “I Know” squarely in the “Scary” path.

When the summer dust settled, “I Know” had taken a powder and “Scary” had made Miramax history.

Lions Gate currently has a time frame for theatrical release of its pic — fall 2000 — but still no date set. As for foreign sales, Lions Gate is quietly laying off all overseas rights to Miramax. Look for “Scary’s” global domination to continue unfettered.

“I Know’s” theatrical woes aren’t Rhino’s only horror headaches.

Miramax, whose territoriality over the “Scream” franchise extended to suing Columbia Pics in 1997 over its ad campaign for “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” threatened Rhino with legal action over the use of the word “Screamed” in the film’s title.

Rhino held firm, but at great expense: The backers of the film’s insurance upped the “I Know” policy from $10,000 to a half million.

Still, Miramax probably won’t rest until Lions Gate gets rid of the offending verb. Lions Gate is still suggesting title changes to the Rhino team, such as “Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • (from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)

    Box Office: 'Hobbs & Shaw' Scores $102 Million Debut in China, Nears $600 Million Globally

    Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” returned to first place on the international box office charts, thanks to a massive $102 million debut in China. The “Fast & Furious” spinoff, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, collected another $120 million overseas, boosting its foreign tally to $441 million. “Hobbs & Shaw” is nearing the $600 million mark [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises to No. 1 With $21 Million Debut

    “Angel Has Fallen,” the third chapter in Lionsgate and Millenium’s action franchise starring Gerard Butler, had a stronger opening weekend than expected, collecting $21.25 million during its first three days of release. Those ticket sales were enough to top domestic box office charts, bumping last weekend’s champ, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys,” to second place. Starring [...]

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content