Opening Day Dredd Box Office
Lionsgate’s British/South African co-production low-budget reboot of John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s cult favorite comics Dredd 3D (2,506 locations) did dreadful on Friday. Surprising, because Comic-Con fans seemed to accept this new Dredd as the real deal last summer, unlike the Sly Stallone version. Reviews were good, and audiences gave the pic a ‘B’ CinemaScore which won’t help or hurt word of mouth. Karl Urban stars as the titular character with Olivia Thirlby in an R-rated dark and gritty pic without lycra or gold codpieces. But his exaggerated Clint Eastwood-style line readings may not have been obviously satirical enough. The bad news for Reliance Entertainment is that Deepak Nayer and Stuart Ford who put the picture together committed Reliance to fund the $40M gap and backstop the P&A. The good news for Lionsgate is that it has minimal risk. The studio is only responsible for P&A costs. Interestingly, LG’s marketing campaign created a comic strip prequel to the film with the publisher 2000 AD as well as a Motion Comic that was released online. Dredd 3D also opened the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto Film Festival and as well as Fantastic Fest in Austin. But there was never much of an effort to widen the film’s appeal or the audience for it. Directed by Pete Travis from a screenplay written by Alex Garland, the film is produced by Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, and Alex Garland. Best about the film are those stunning slow motion photography sequences. For a sequel to go ahead, Alex Garland recently said that the film would need to earn at least $50 million at the North American box office.