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Devil's Due is a dud at the box office; is found footage dying on the big screen?

Jan. 20, 2014by: Eric Walkuski

This past weekend was a crowded one at the box office, with JACK RYAN, RIDE ALONG and THE NUT JOB all competing with prestige pics like LONE SURVIVOR, AMERICAN HUSTLE and THE WOLF OF WALL STREET for audience attention. Around these parts, the flick to watch - well, keep an eye on - was DEVIL'S DUE, 20th Century Fox's attempt at the micro-budget found footage game. So how did it fare?

Right now, things are not looking bright for Old Scratch. DEVIL'S DUE made about $8.5 million in its first three days, and will likely drop off the face of the Earth next week. To put it in perspective, MAMA opened with a robust $28 million during the same frame last year, while TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D opened to $21 million earlier that month. Horror is still alive and well, but the numbers are beginning to indicate that the found footage subgenre is on life support.

Earlier this month, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES opened to $18 million, a number DEVIL'S DUE certainly would have killed for. But THE MARKED ONES has problems of its own. The opening was down considerably from PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4's $29 million debut, which itself was off in a big way from PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3's stunning $52 million bow. THE MARKED ONES will finish its run in the area of $33 million, which would be $20 million less than PA4's domestic haul. (You also can't help but wonder how much THE MARKED ONES would have made if it didn't have the words "Paranormal Activity" in the title.) The numbers are dwindling, no doubt.

(As far as the PARANORMAL movies are concerned, one might say any franchise moving into its fifth installment is obviously going to lag. But then we must remember that the SAW series was still thriving at this point: SAW V made $30 million opening weekend, and that was five years ago, when tickets were cheaper.)

I'm not expecting found footage to go away completely, mainly thanks to the low risk-high reward model. DEVIL'S DUE only cost around $7 million, so in the long run it will eek out a small profit for the studio. Meanwhile, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is a namebrand that will continue to draw in audiences, even though they're shrinking in size. Indie horror producers aren't going to abandon it either, because let's face it, it's easier to pull off the found footage/faux-documentary gimmick than mount a traditional production. Unfortunately, most people aren't able to pull it off well.

But... I think we're absolutely closing in on the last days of the subgenre in theaters - save for a couple more PARANORMAL ACTIVITY entries. Audiences simply get tired of the same old thing after a while, and this is definitely the same old thing.

Extra Tidbit: This is just one jerk's opinion of course - let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Source: Box Office Mojo

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8:31PM on 01/21/2014

Cloverfield 2

Can't wait for Cloverfield 2 !!!
Can't wait for Cloverfield 2 !!!
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8:17AM on 01/21/2014
Much like 3D, films with 'Found Footage' has become a way for studios to make a quick buck. In the process, studios are constantly bringing out crap products that ride on the coat-tails of other more successful products. They need to take a step back, realize that with the increase in ticket/concessions prices, audience members are more likely to be choosier in what they watch.
Much like 3D, films with 'Found Footage' has become a way for studios to make a quick buck. In the process, studios are constantly bringing out crap products that ride on the coat-tails of other more successful products. They need to take a step back, realize that with the increase in ticket/concessions prices, audience members are more likely to be choosier in what they watch.
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+3
9:59PM on 01/20/2014
I don't think the Found Footage is dead. I just think people are aware of some of the crap thats out there and also aware of the movies that are done right. For some reason when I saw the preview for Devils Due I instantly thought of Devil Inside. And if you were like me I was gonna wait until I heard more about it and since then I have read numerous negative things, so I'll prolly wait for Dvd/Blu Ray to see it. Also not allowing a film to be reviewed by critics until release makes it seem
I don't think the Found Footage is dead. I just think people are aware of some of the crap thats out there and also aware of the movies that are done right. For some reason when I saw the preview for Devils Due I instantly thought of Devil Inside. And if you were like me I was gonna wait until I heard more about it and since then I have read numerous negative things, so I'll prolly wait for Dvd/Blu Ray to see it. Also not allowing a film to be reviewed by critics until release makes it seem kinda fishy.
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9:38PM on 01/20/2014
Despite the few found footage films that are actually good, the found footage genre has become a complete bore and most of them just seem like easy cash grabs. Studios Make cheap, lazy films, get a few mil in the box office that covers the 500k they put out, then use another 500k to make another very similar cheap, lazy film. Win win. Tyler Perry does it all the time. He's doing pretty well.
Despite the few found footage films that are actually good, the found footage genre has become a complete bore and most of them just seem like easy cash grabs. Studios Make cheap, lazy films, get a few mil in the box office that covers the 500k they put out, then use another 500k to make another very similar cheap, lazy film. Win win. Tyler Perry does it all the time. He's doing pretty well.
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6:15PM on 01/20/2014

Found Footage not dead

A dying sub-genre???!!! Weird news. With coming soon big productions like Chronicle 2, Project X 2, Michael Bay's Welcome to yesterday, Alexandre Aja's Site 146, McG's day 38, Neil Marshall's Troll Hunter remake etc... I really think that Found Footage genre has a bright futur. Sometimes it will "fail" (bucks in one weekend are bigger than the budget) but no more no less than other "genres" (Ryan didn't work that well too).
A dying sub-genre???!!! Weird news. With coming soon big productions like Chronicle 2, Project X 2, Michael Bay's Welcome to yesterday, Alexandre Aja's Site 146, McG's day 38, Neil Marshall's Troll Hunter remake etc... I really think that Found Footage genre has a bright futur. Sometimes it will "fail" (bucks in one weekend are bigger than the budget) but no more no less than other "genres" (Ryan didn't work that well too).
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3:27PM on 01/20/2014

Is this a "sky is falling" post?

Marked Ones will make a nice profit, Studio happy. Devil's Due doesn't have a release date in Australia due to the fact that the trailers are shockingly bad, ergo our local Distributor is quite likely to dump it straight to DVD and move along to the next project. Actually it's going to be a lean year Downunder for horror releases in the cinema, by your reckoning that spells the end of the genre as a cinematic force! Clearly not, swings and round abouts, the genre needs something big next year/
Marked Ones will make a nice profit, Studio happy. Devil's Due doesn't have a release date in Australia due to the fact that the trailers are shockingly bad, ergo our local Distributor is quite likely to dump it straight to DVD and move along to the next project. Actually it's going to be a lean year Downunder for horror releases in the cinema, by your reckoning that spells the end of the genre as a cinematic force! Clearly not, swings and round abouts, the genre needs something big next year/
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+3
2:14PM on 01/20/2014
As much as I would have liked to see horror be successful I'm not overly bothered considering how well stuff like the Conjuring and Sinister etc... did over the past year. And while I don't mind found footage - heck I've enjoyed a few - the trend or at least talk to take some franchises down that road worries me as I don't feel it works for every movie. Hopefully this will at least sway the F13th makers away from found footage for the next movie.
As much as I would have liked to see horror be successful I'm not overly bothered considering how well stuff like the Conjuring and Sinister etc... did over the past year. And while I don't mind found footage - heck I've enjoyed a few - the trend or at least talk to take some franchises down that road worries me as I don't feel it works for every movie. Hopefully this will at least sway the F13th makers away from found footage for the next movie.
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9:22AM on 01/22/2014
Awesome! My exact thought when I clicked this was hoping it would make producers sway from a found footage "Friday".
Awesome! My exact thought when I clicked this was hoping it would make producers sway from a found footage "Friday".
1:51PM on 01/20/2014
I don't think the found footage genre is dead in the water just yet. Let's be honest, has anything you've from the trailer actually made you want to see this movie? People will pay to see bad horror in theater. As for The Marked Ones, I enjoyed it but I think shifting the focus to the Hispanic community actually hurt the films box office. I guess we wont know for sure until PA 5 comes out though...
I don't think the found footage genre is dead in the water just yet. Let's be honest, has anything you've from the trailer actually made you want to see this movie? People will pay to see bad horror in theater. As for The Marked Ones, I enjoyed it but I think shifting the focus to the Hispanic community actually hurt the films box office. I guess we wont know for sure until PA 5 comes out though...
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