At $863 Per Screen, You Won't Have Dylan Dog to Kick Around Any More

One last little bit of housecleaning from the weekend box office: There's good news and there's bad news about Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, the live-action, Brandon Routh-starring adaptation of the cult comic book. First, the good news: The supernatural gumshoe flick did modestly well in Italy, where its source material originated. According to the most recent available figures, it earned $3.4 million in the month after opening March 16. (By comparison, Scream 4 was down 52 percent in its second week in Italy and hasn't yet cracked $1.5 million.) Then there's the bad news.

Despite some fanboy word of mouth and an earnest press run leading up to its Stateside opening April 29, Dylan Dog officially grossed $754,779 on 875 screens by the close of business Sunday -- an average of $863 per theater. Worse still was its showing at Rotten Tomatoes, which hardly helped matters with an execrable 6 percent positive rating. "With terrible acting, a narrative on autopilot and chaotic blurs passing for action scenes, it's a direct-to-DVD caliber sojourn through the dregs of comic book adaptation," wrote one critic, while another volunteered, "Put a stake in this film noir monster movie, it's done."

Sort of. The movie itself may be done, though the franchise may yet continue depending on the traction it holds in Europe and what kind of niche, if any, it can find domestically in the home video/DVD marketplace. Theatrical is dead no matter what -- yet the latest handiwork of Freestyle Releasing, the pay-to-play distributor behind the preeminent bomb Delgo and the current record holder with three films in the 20 all-time worst opening per-screen averages. Dylan Dog fell about $250 per screen short of joining that club, but as a comics adaptation featuring an ex-Superman as the lead, it retains a certain ignominy all its own.

All of which raises the question: Were you one of the few and the proud to check this one out? For better or worse you've joined an elite echelon of Americans; the rest of us would very much appreciate knowing more about your experience if you're so inclined.

· Dylan Dog: Dead of Night [Box Office Mojo]

· Dylan Dog: Dead of Night [Rotten Tomatoes]


  • The Winchester says:

    It's playing down at the second run theater by my house. I'm dying to see it, but know this is the only week I can get to it, so not sure if I can.
    Then again, if I wait 2 months, it'll most likely be on Netflix streaming, but sometimes I can't wait that long for something this grand.

  • ILDC says:

    So the only reason Freestyle Releasing isn't out of business is that they don't pay for P&A?

  • I honestly don't know how they stay in business. Obviously they take their cut on service deals, but these movies are historic tank jobs grossing low- to mid-six figures. Hardly seems worth it.

  • Brian says:

    I had planned to see it, but the closest theater showing Dylan Dog is 30 minutes away. You know a movie sucks when it opens on only two screens in DFW.

  • The trailers looked campy, but it looked like it might be worth a rental. 6 percent on Rotten Tomatoes doesn't bode well, though.

  • Ingrid says:

    I watched it. The sidekick was funny at times, but you could see the plot twists coming from a mile away. And Brandon Routh is as wooden as ever.

  • I liked it. Except for Taye Diggs' character and some problems with the female lead, I thought it was pretty good. I wrote a full review of it for my site, Fourth-day Universe, if you want to read more.