"Evil Dead" slashes cave men, dinosaurs for big box office win

Sun Apr 7, 2013 1:28pm EDT
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By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud

(Reuters) - "Evil Dead," the blood-drenched remake of the 1981 horror classic, "The Evil Dead," scared up $26 million in its first weekend to win the box office race, slashing past another familiar story, the 3D re-release of Steven Spielberg's 1993 dinosaur blockbuster, "Jurassic Park."

The supernatural story of five twenty-something friends who battle demons in a remote cabin, "Evil Dead" far surpassed industry projections of about $20 million for the film following a strong $1.8 million in midnight showings on Thursday.

Last weekend's box office leader, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," fought its way into a virtual tie with animated Stone Age comedy "The Croods," now in its third week in theaters, with each taking in $21.1 million, according to estimates from Hollywood.com's box office division.

The 3-D "Jurassic Park" re-release was fourth with $18.2 million in ticket sales, and "Olympus Has Fallen" rounded out the top five with sales of slightly more than $10 million, squeaking past "Tyler Perry's Temptation", which came in sixth at $10 million.

"It's just a great opening, the film delivered in a big way," said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures' president of worldwide distribution, noting that the $26 million haul was far above its hopes for something in the high teens or low 20s for the film that had a budget of about $17 million.

"Fede Alvarez certainly made Sam Raimi proud with the film he delivered," Bruer added.

Raimi, who wrote and directed the 1981 film, was a producer on the low-budget horror film and hand picked first-time director Alvarez, who co-wrote the slasher film's script with Diablo Cody, a 2008 screenwriting Oscar winner for the quirky comedy, "Juno."

Jane Colburn Levy, the 23-year-old star of the ABC TV comedy "Suburgatory," plays Mia, a heroin addict who overcomes demonic possession and eventually kills the demon with a chainsaw.   Continued...