Dredd struggles at US box office

News Simon Brew 24 Sep 2012 - 06:39

Dredd 2 isn't dead, but it's just got a whole lot harder...

Having hit the number one spot at the British box office on its release earlier this month, there were real hopes that Dredd would be able to make a good impact at the US box office too, when it hit Stateside cinemas last Friday. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Dredd's weekend box office tally in the States makes for grim reading. Predictions ahead of the weekend were pessimistic, with an expected $10m opening. But the film even fell short of that, with a take of $6.3m. It'll do well to get to $20m at the American box office in total now. Basically, Dredd fans turned up, but pretty much no one else did.

Things worked against Dredd in the end. It was one of four new films that were opening, with horror The House At The End Of The Street winning a weak weekend. Also, Dredd is a lesser known character in America, and the kind of marketing campaign required to turn that around was never financially on the cards. Finally, there was the hard-R rating, and you do wonder if Dredd's US performance means it'll be a while before we get a gamble of its ilk again. Expect more PG-13 comic book movies at this rate, Kick-Ass 2 aside.

So, is Dredd done and dusted, and are chances of a sequel dead?

Well, no it's not, and no they're not. It's just things are more difficult now. However, Dredd garnered generally positive reviews, and there are many territories around the world where the film has yet to open. So far, it's made about £3m in the UK, and added a bit more in Spain. In fact, its staggered release means it'll be opening in more territories for most of the next month. It doesn't matter where the film makes it money, as long as it makes it. And Dredd is still a modestly priced production, with a lower than usual break even point.

It may yet be that it's the DVD and Blu-ray release that proves crucial here. Or it might be that those American numbers have inflicted a fatal blow on the chances of Dredd 2. We'll wait and see, but, while the weekend figures were undoubtedly disappointing (writer Alex Garland had said a $50m US take would basically trigger the sequel), there might just be life in Dredd yet. Hope so, anyway.

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Man, i would love to see Dredd 2 but let's not kid ourselves, 6 million is a disaster of the highest order. I am absolutely gutted about this. There will not be a sequel. US audiences I imagine just saw this as a remake of a crappy Sly Stallone film, and generally didn't know about the rich, beautiful history of the comic strip character. Plus the UK figures aren't exactly great. If there is one tiny silver lining it is after Total Recall and all the other remakes which have bombed recently, then Hollywood will perhaps start moving towards new ideas instead of this relentless, insane, remake frenzy they've been having recently. I imagine the new Robocop team must be shitting themselves.

Man, i would love to see Dredd 2 but let's not kid ourselves, 6 million is a disaster of the highest order. I am absolutely gutted about this. There will not be a sequel. US audiences I imagine just saw this as a remake of a crappy Sly Stallone film, and generally didn't know about the rich, beautiful history of the comic strip character. Plus the UK figures aren't exactly great. If there is one tiny silver lining it is after Total Recall and all the other remakes which have bombed recently, then Hollywood will perhaps start moving towards new ideas instead of this relentless, insane, remake frenzy they've been having recently. I imagine the new Robocop team must be shitting themselves.

Sorry somehow I wrote that twice. Idiothole!

Defintely the best movie I have seen for a long time, its raw, to the point but still tells a great story, I rarely buy blu-rays because I only like to buy the best, and Dredd is one of them.

I think the main reason for why the film failed to spark an interest in either the UK or the US is simply the marketing, it's been shoddy. It started way too late and Lionsgate only released one, rather poor, theatrical trailer with no follow-up. That trailer does the film no justice (pun not intended) and seems to imply it's a remake, even though the later TV spots stated it as being based on the comic book.
Of course the Stallone film didn't help matters, but if the marketing was better it could have convinced audiences that it isn't a remake and that it is vastly better than the '95 film.

Given it's still yet to be released in some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, where I'm sure it'll do quite well, I think there's still hope for Dredd 2 and also DNA Films are very keen for it to become a franchise. If it does go ahead I think either Lionsgate will be dropped as the US distributor or it'll be released as VOD and limited released. I don't think we'll hear any confirmation either way for some time though, because I think there will be a lot of discussion over the future of Dredd and if a sequel does press ahead how it'll be executed to make it more successful.

If a sequel doesn't happen, why not a TV show, because some would argue that's a better format for Dredd, and I'm sure Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby would love to play Dredd and Anderson on a weekly basis.

I didn't even know it was out over here yet! Been looking forward to it for months. XD

Have to agree with Jezza about the marketing failure. I only saw one trailer in the cinema and nothing else. Plus, it didn't really sell the film for me. I only saw it because I have a monthly cinema card and I wanted to get my money's worth. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised by how well conceived and executed Dredd was. But more marketing power would have definitely helped. I suspect this will turn into one of those "sleeper DVD hits."

Such a shame coz ive seen this movie and its absolutely superb. It deserves to do well. COME ON USA! We Brits tune in for all your USA superhero movies! Most of them are toss but this movie based on one of ours is BRILLIANT! House at the end of the street? My arse.

I saw Dredd on Saturday and thought it was brilliant. It's not aimed at the '15' / PG13 crowd though is it? It's getting harder to get the more mature adults into cinemas these days as they can't be bothered to put up with the constant rudeness of others and would rather wait for the Blu-ray to watch in the comfort of their own home. Shame that a sequel is unlikely, but this will be a cult classic.

Humf.....well.....given that everyone has already seen The Raid:Redemption, why would you bother to go see Dredd?

Agreed - I knew it was coming out sometime over the summer but wasn't sure when. Then, suddenly, it was out with no warning.

I think this is where the 18 certificate will have done it some harm (as much as I hate to admit it as I thought it's grittiness fitted the Dredd brand very well and would never advocate cutting a film down to a 12 to get a larger audience). Nowadays you only see trailers for age appropriate films so a 12 will only show trailers for other 12s or below and so on.

The more 18 films are released, the more they can promote others in the trailers. It's not like the golden years of the 18 action/sci-fi thriller (late 80s, early 90) when the likes of Total Recall, Predator, Aliens, Robocop, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard et al would not think twice about going for the 18 cert and they would get massive audiences.

Studios pander too much to pre-teens nowadays. Thinking about Taken 2 - how many pre-teens will want to see the sequel to a film where a man hunted down, tortured and killed the men who abducted his daughter and sold her as a sex slave to a horny Arab businessman? Not many I'd wager!

So true. And the price of a cinema trip must be a large factor too! Most people going to see 18s are probably adults going as part of a couple - and that's a hefty bill (last trip to the cinema, including ice cream) was about £30 for the two of us).

I have heard that Lionsgate spent somewhere in the region of $25m on prints and advertising for Dredd, so it's simply not true that they didn't market it - but perhaps marketing a movie like this successfully is prohibitively expensive, and would make them have to recoup many times more money back - thus negating the whole point of making a modest-budget movie in the first place...

Movie-making is in a weird place right now, I think.

As for me, I thought the trailer was quite poor - really bad choice of music, and the mangled dialogue made it look so much cheesier than it sounds in the final film. Much more should have been made of it's connections to 28 Days Later/Sunshine, and also District 9 (with which it shared it's location and crew.

Things are changing, but ultimately the US remains by far the biggest and most critical market for this sort of thing, and as Dredd has bombed there, that pretty much shuts down any chance of sequels and/or TV spin-offs.

To put things in perspective, Dredd's US takings are currently tracking roughly the same as little-seen (and already largely-forgotten) Guy Pearce sci-fi B-Movie Lockout (2012), and I don't see HBO falling over themselves to plow millions of dollars into a Lockout TV adaptation... Same goes for Dredd I'm afraid.

This is a real shame. I'm hoping all the good reviews really help out the Blu-ray / DVD sales. Ian Warwick said, I don't really buy Blu-Rays but I'll be getting this. It has cult classic written all over it.

Hardly surprising it under performed. It's simple economics.

I take my 2 kids to see Avengers and Cineworld extracts roughly 20-30 quid from my wallet.
I can't take them to see Dredd so Cineworld gets exactly zero.

Whilst I can see where you're coming from, at the end of the day it is still a small-ish British film, so you could argue the US isn't as important as a domestic American film, especially considering many British films don't get a US release. The US might be the biggest market for this sort of thing, but even if it's not a success there it doesn't its future stop it dead.

This is my point about the worldwide takings, because many films that unperformed in the US are successful enough worldwide to generate a sequel. To name just a couple of recent films Prometheus and Men in Black 3.

I'm not suggesting Dredd will be a mega hit when it's given it's worldwide releases, just that it may be enough. Some studios are now looking at the worldwide takings more to judge the film's success, so for a small independent British film it probably wouldn't be much different.

Having said all that I will admit I'm not an expert in this field, but we'll see though. Considering it's final release isn't until 15 November in Germany we won't know for a while.

It's not so much that they didn't market it, it's that they marketed it very poorly. Even spending the amount they did, they could have used it so much better. As has been pointed out the first trailer alone was terrible and pretty much killed it for many viewers. All they needed to do was create a great trailer to sell it to the audience that this is a great film and a new adaption, and not a generic action flick or a remake. That alone would have at least got people interested and once they'd looked into it maybe even convinced them to watch it.

Such a shame, this is one of my favourite films of the year. Garbage like Twilight will take +800 million while this fails :(

So Dredd got half the US opening weekend box office that the 1995 Sly Stalone version got. I'm not particularly surprised; the trailers made it seem very dull, like a gritty low-budget sci-fi remake of Assault On Precinct 13. Judge Dredd is all about larger-than-life colour, scale and meat-head wisecracks; when are people going to accept that the Stalone version got this right and the Karl Urban version got this totally wrong? The critics just liked to pan the Stalone version because they hated Stalone; the film itself was spot-on. (The helmet issue is completely overblown, most of the audience accepts that you can't expect an star actor to spend the whole film in a helmet. V For Vendetta was an exception, not the rule, and in any case, V's particular star wasn't a big star at the time the V was made).

Your mouth is full of wrong.

"Dredd is a lesser known character in America" - Really? Even after the earlier big-budget Sly Stallone movie?

Sadly, I'm not surprised. As you pointed out, Judge Dredd is not well known amongst we Americans. The vast majority of our film goers have simply not heard of the character, nor causal comic book fans. Serious comic fans know the character, but regrettably there are not enough of us to make the film a hit. There is also the stink of the previous film lingering as well. That certainly did not help matters.

I would like for Netflix to step in and finance Dredd sequels. That would be a much better fit than the traditional theater/marketing model.

Movies are for morons, generally.
Studios and exhibitors chase the grandpa/grandkids audience and that means PG. An R-rated movie will not get huge BO. And so we get more and more lamo-feeb "action" movies.
About a week ago, it was reported that "Taken 2" was taking some cuts so that it would not get an R-rating. If it went with an R-rating, it would lose big money at the BO. Now, grandpa can sleep in the cinema house while his grandkids run up and down the aisles.

Well I can't speak for Britain, but Dredd is not that popular in the U.S. The first Dredd movie was not that popular over here. That's why I couldn't believe that they made another one. I also don't think the movie was marketed very well either. I only saw the trailor once and it didn't blow me away.

how can film like this bomb and Resident Evil have so many incarnations? It's a joke

V for Vendetta.

You obviously realised you were wrong.

I think this movie was always destined
to be a one of cult classic. I cannot imagine it having a broad
mainstream appeal enough to generate profits that would greenlight a
sequel. However, things, weren't helped by a lack of 2D screenings &
very poor marketing.

Think the Stallone film was a negative for it. If the only thing I associated with Dredd was that film, I'd stay home and save my money.

Seen both - prefer Dredd. Which surprised me very very much!

Ha Ha Ha

I'll go and see it for sure when it premiers in sweden. Might even buy the dvd later on...

Dredd was awesome, nothing like the crap that come out in 1995. It was much closer to the comic and Karl Urban play Dredd prefectly...like dredd was just removered from the comic and put onto the big screen. It will such if we don't get a Dredd 2, i want to see more Dredd, more of the city, maybe even a lead into a Dredd 3 with Judge Death. It would such if we wouldn't get any of that because Americans don't know a good film when its out.

This is a real shame, I saw this yesterday, and whilst I didn't think it was 'that' good (The Raid did this story so much better just a few months ago) it was still an enjoyable slab of 18 rated entertainment. The only bankable ideas in Hollywood now are remakes or franchises, I even expect Looper to struggle next week.

Twilight has the lucrative teenage girl demographic locked in, unfortunately.

Mila Jovovich in spandex.

Saw them both. "Dredd" is better. "The Raid" was one long, repetitive fight sequence.

This movie is also one of the best I have seen this year, top notch in everyway as far as comic/sci-fi goes. Even got the soundtrack when I left the theatre. I will be back this week to see it in 3D maybe even more than once and def will try to spread the word the best way I know how to get the love for this movie out. Let's get people interested in this film.

I'm an American and saw this movie twice, with plans to see it again. I can only say this: Dredd is not well known here as a character. Most people simply associate him with the Stallone movie from way back. I don't really think the marketing for this movie was any good. Lionsgate never established it as a comic book movie, which I think they should have done. The movie also opened up in less theaters than some of the other new releases. Lionsgate deserves a lot of blame for handling the movie like this. Also, the 2D showtimes are few. Once a day, while 3D showtimes have much more. You're looking at a $5 difference in ticket prices, 10 for 2D and 15 for 3D. Here we are in week 2, and I no longer see Dredd commercials on TV (then again, I'm not in front of the TV all day every day, but it appears gone).

I'm trying to get my friends to go see it. I loved the movie and hope it does better. My hope is word of mouth keeps this movie at the theaters for a while, so we'll see how it ends up doing here in the U.S. when all's said and done.

I live in the US and no theater in my area got Dredd!

Thought this film was brilliant,took us back to the old school violence of robocop,predator etc. Hopefully word of mouth can keep this film going in America,and the rest of world really take to it. We may well get a sequel,here's hoping anyway.

So sad, was such an entertaining movie, and would love to see at least one more movie. One of my favorite movies this year, by far. Hopefully it will do well in other markets, because they usually eat up stupid 3-D movies, and this one's 3-D is actually decent.

DREDD has made $20 million in 5 territories in 2 weeks. 4 have not been counted yet and there's dozens more territories awaiting release.

I have never understood that justification and I never will. If I want to look at Milla Jovovich in spandex, I can type it into Google - that way I don't have to sit through a godawful, laughably stupid, plotless pastiche of other action movies to see it.

See also: Underworld/Kate Beckinsale.

Dredd is not well known here as a character."

This has nothing to do with it, as already mentioned.

Dredd doesn't wander around in spandex, and can speak fluently. Stallone's version was not only an awful Dredd film, it was also an awful action film.

I've got a lot of love for this film; for Karl, Anderson, the respect paid to the comic strip and all those brilliant 2000AD artists of the 70s and 80s. I hope it makes money and erases forever the memory of the Stallone travesty.

I want to see this movie but in my area all the theaters are only showing the 3D version.

I wear glasses and watching a 3D movie is not an option for me.

In other news just in, bears s*** in the woods and the Pope is Catholic.
In all seriousness, would you expect anything else?

He's a comic character,NO-ONE knows what he sounds like you cretin.
Sly's film is over 15 years old,think we will be discussing this paper thin effort in 15 years time? They had one shot at trying to outdo Stallones larger than life portrayal of Dredd and blew it.

Grew up on 2000A.D. here in the U.S. and it was always my favorite comic. This movie KILLS go see it if you haven't, or go see it again!

John Wagner knows what he sounds like and it isn't Stallone's drunken slur. And people will be discussing the quality of this film and not mocking it like the Stallone effort.

It's bombing,live with it. :P

LOL Cheers for the critique.

I actually waited to watch The Raid until after seeing Dredd. Saw Dredd on opening night and then watched The Raid the following night. Personally, I thought Dredd was the superior film. For one thing, I felt a number of the action sequences in The Raid just got absurdly long. Great fight choreography for sure.. but sometimes less is more. The fight between the villains right hand man and the 2 brothers.. seriously had to be 5 minutes long and by the end I found myself bored wanting the movie to get moving again. Dredd didn't have those slick hand to hand fighting scenes, but the story felt like it kept moving along at the right pace.

of all of the crappy movies that came out, I'm really surprised this did so poorly, i just say this today it was spectacular, i didnt know too much about the character but my husband really did and we both enjoyed it. I think the low numbers might also have to do with the fat that it is coming out at the same time as some other amazing movies - one's Ive seen include; Looper, Taken 2, Premium Rush, Outlaws) and there's 6/7 i want to see and still haven't all having come out in the last month!

Might've taken more at the cinema if more places had shown it in 2d. Nowhere within 100 miles of me did so I didn't go. Should imagine Blu-ray and DVD sales will be strong for this film from people like me who boycotted the film for being forced to see it only in 3d.

From an American I agree with ya. Over here I don't know what is up with most Americans they tend to nip pick every bit of piece's of a movie for example Resident evil 5 movie suck in the USA but every where else it awesome but most ignorant american will say cause they know better on movie quality. Sigh......

From an American.... AGREED!!! & for that I apologize Dredd was one of the best Action movie's for this year that I have seen so far it's a damn shame. I really wanted to see a sequel.

I wear glasses too and I have no trouble wearing 3D glasses what's yours?

I'm a fan of the 2000AD comics and I nearly missed this as the advertising was so poor!
To be honest after the disappointment I felt for TDKR I expected this under advertised poorly marketed film to be no good.i nearly had the attitude I will wait for it to come out on DVD.the cinema is expensive! Allso I don't like 3D realy as gives me a head Ach.but had no option as only screening were 3D at my local screen! But in the end I went and dragged a mate along with me we both LOVED it. But our recommendation couldent persuade our friends to go as they simply don't have the spare cash!
I'm glad we got this film it's bound to have. Cult following maby this will eventually spawn a sequal

I went to this in theatres, and I'm buying the Blu Ray, that's all I can do to help this along.



Wow, you speak such garbage. The Stallone movie had a budget of over $100m and only made something like $20m and that Dredd was freaking pathetic, this new one is leagues better.

I did buy the DVD, money well spent. An awsome action movie this is. One can only hope for a sequel.

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