October 5, 2009 "Zombieland" cashed in $25 million over the weekend, putting it in the range of the "Dawn of the Dead" remake from 5 years ago.
Reports Box Office Mojo:
In the realm of zombie movies, Zombieland had the second highest-grossing start on record behind the Dawn of the Dead remake, but, more importantly, it was the first horror comedy in recent memory to find significant theatrical success. The only horror comedies to claim greater initial attendance in the past two decades were the Scary Movie pictures, but they primarily appealed as spoofs. Failure is the norm, with movies like Jennifer's Body and Snakes on a Plane among the corpses.
Horror comedy struggles with general audiences because of its awkward thematic and tonal clash: comedy is generally benevolent while horror is inherently malevolent, rendering horror comedy too funny to be scary and too scary to be funny. Zombieland skirted this issue by falling squarely on the side of action comedy in its marketing campaign. True to its amusement park-like title, the ads brazenly and clearly touted the picture as a fun ride with Woody Harrelson and crew wisecracking as they easily dispatch zombies. Distributor Sony Pictures' exit polling indicated that 56 percent of the audience was male and 58 percent was under 25 years old.
The stellar numbers follow disappointing results for "Jennifer's Body" and "Sorority Row," both of which were lackluster movies to begin with.
The rest of the month sees a number of other high profile horror films hitting screens.
October 16 sees the PG-13 remake of "The Stepfather" in cineplexes
On October 23, "Saw VI" will continue that lucrative franchise.
On October 30, Magnolia will unleash Ti West's "House of the Devil" to theaters.
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