After Dark Films

Horror indie label faces stiff competition

B.O.: $4.98 million

Top pic: “Captivity,” $2.6 million

Exec suite: Courtney Solomon and Allan Zeman, partners

Analysis: After the release of After Dark Films production “American Haunting” (grossing $17 million via Freestyle Releasing) last summer, Solomon took a stab at launching a horror indie label. But, over the last year, Dark’s wide releases have had short lives, partly due to the saturation of slasher pics at the B.O. Even the distrib’s video-pay TV partner Lionsgate felt the pinch with its own theatricals.

While auds are more likely to remember Dark’s highest grosser “Captivity” for its controversial Elisha Cuthbert ads, the distrib mined success from its film fest “8 Films to Die For,” grossing $2.3 million on 488 screens during the Nov. 17-19 frame. Though Solomon and Zeman are producing a bloodier edition of “8 Films” this fall, they’re taking a breather from genre pics next year with their new arthouse banner Autonomous. “It’s the inverse of Miramax launching Dimension,” says Solomon, “It’s more like Dimension launching Miramax.”

Up next:

“Wristcutters: A Love Story,” Oct. 19

“Horrorfest 2,” Nov. 9

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