"Total Recall" remake struggles to recall original's success

Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:57am EDT
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By Ronald Grover

Los Angeles (Reuters) - The years haven't been kind to Douglas Hauser, the secret agent character played by both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Colin Farrell in versions of the futuristic action film "Total Recall" released 22 years apart.

The release of the modern-day version of the film on August 3 by Sony Pictures Entertainment, scarcely outsold the 1990 version that featured Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, despite playing in 1,500 more theaters and at a time when ticket prices are higher.

The rebooted version, which stars Farrell as a dispirited worker who has lost his memory of being a secret agent, generated $26 million this weekend at the U.S. and Canadian box offices, according to Hollywod.com's box office division.

The 1990 version grossed $25.5 million in ticket sales and played on 2,060 screens. The new version is playing on 3,601 screens.

"Sometimes the perceived demand for re-boots of well known titles is overestimated," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com's box office division.

The tragedy surrounding Warner Brothers' "The Dark Knight Rises" may also have affected the box office take for "Total Recall," figures Dergaraberian, as some may have stayed away during its first two weeks in theaters for fear of a repeat of the shootings during a midnight showing of the new Batman film in Aurora, Colorado.

The Batman film nevertheless grossed $36.4 million in its third weekend to lead the weekend's box office race, with "Total Recall" second.

"Total Recall" was also released during a weekend of heavy viewing of the Olympic games on NBC.   Continued...

Irish actor Colin Farrell poses during a photocall as part of the presentation of the film "Total Recall" in Paris July 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen