Anyone who wanted to go see Hatchet II in theaters and didn’t make it this weekend apparently just lost their chance.
No one’s sure exactly what happened- the film was supposed to be playing in quite a few AMC theaters- but it’s just disappeared from theaters overnight. No one’s owning up to it, either, with not even director Adam Green being given a solid reason.
AMC’s official stance: “At AMC theaters, we review all films in all of our theaters every week and then make our business decisions based on their performance.” It does make sense- Hatchet II made only $52,604 for an average of 774 bucks a theater over the weekend. But people are crying foul, saying that the film has been sabotaged by the MPAA.
Green himself believes that it was his anti-MPAA stance that prompted the theater chain to pull the theaters. Speaking to Cinematical, he says “The sad truth of the matter is that no one at Dark Sky has been able to tell me the exact reasons behind why the film was pulled (they have not gotten a clear explanation whatsoever) and I only know what I am hearing from the public on Twitter and AMC’s response to the press of “we base our decisions on performance” which does not add up given that we know of at least two theaters that had pulled the film after just 24 hours and given the grand scheme of things, other genre titles performed worse per screen, even though they had bigger budgets and traditional spends on marketing campaigns as opposed to ours.
All signs would point to AMC being unhappy with how vocal I was about the MPAA and not wanting to deal with the controversy- which if the case, is their given right. Had the film grossed millions, maybe it would be a different story with them, but given the size of our release and the nature of what this is, all we ever could have hoped for was a few grand per screen in a realistic scenario. But to suggest that Dark Sky would spend the money they did creating prints, posters, traveling cast for appearances, hiring PR firms to promote the film, and all of the other very costly things that go into making and distributing a theatrical film (even without TV commercials and the big stuff- it ain’t cheap!) only to pull the film themselves after just 3 days… is preposterous.“
He’s not sure what will happen to the film, although Dark Sky will most likely take the On Demand/DVD route.
Ah well. Judging from reviews and how average the first one is we might not have missed much. We’ll see if this has any impact on I Spit On Your Grave‘s release this Friday, another unrated horror film that’s snuck its way into theaters.