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Dead On Arrival: Flatliners Remake Stumbles with $2M Opening Day

Hint: When films have a “no Thursday previews/reviews” policy… Run.

While this September weekend can be considered slow and uneventful by American box office standards, with the only noteworthy opener being Tom Cruise’s American Made (see our review here) at a healthy $6M, Sony Pictures’ Flatliners has crashed and burned in spectacular fashion.

Not so fresh off the disastrous 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) director Niels Arden Oplev is the thick of a box office cluster with his remake of the 1990 Joel Schumacher film Flatliners, only earning $2M on a production budget of over $19M.

With no sign of an audience pulse in sight.

Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson estimates the film, starring a youthful cast of Ellen Page, Kiersey Clemons, Nina Dobrev and Rogue One’s own Diego Luna, is likely to pull in over/under a $5.8m opening weekend.

This covers the cost of only 25% of production funds, excluding marketing which could be an extra $10M-so on top.

A realisation that I’m sure has executives running to protect their debts in a newly fortified Bahamas when they realise films like this, with such critic and audience distain, generally fall at the box office by over 50% on their second weekend, and more so as the weeks continue.

This is drastically different to the box office life of Schumacher’s original which rode to a $60M success on a $20M budget, sporting a cast that included Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon.

Does this modern-day team have that kind of pull?

Well, you tell me.

“Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie,” reads the Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus,“and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival.”

Projecting right now in well over 2,552 theaters, it wouldn’t surprise me if this gets dragged out to the grave sooner than expected.

Bailey Steen

Bailey Steen

Cinema, politics, and admiring Rooney Mara: the three keys to unlocking my own personal sacred labyrinth! Also I'm humble, obviously.

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Bailey Steen

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