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]