Well, we came pretty close to getting a new Friday the 13th film there, eh?
It was initially reported on Monday that Paramount had pulled their much-talked-about (and already delayed) return to Crystal Lake from its planned October 13th release date. While no further information was forthcoming in those reports, it became clear later in the day that production on the film – which was due to begin filming in March – has been indefinitely shut down.
It seems that rights to the franchise will go back to Warner Bros./New Line in 2018, meaning that we’ll likely never again hear ‘ki-ki-ki hah-hah-hah’ over the Paramount logo. One would think that Paramount would want to get one last hoorah for Jason in before losing the rights but no; instead they’ve gotten cold feet and decided to let it die.
There’s a good chance that the decision was made following Rings’ lukewarm box office over the weekend. While the belated franchise revival hardly flopped – it made $13 million domestically on a $25 million budget in its opening weekend – it did bring in considerably less than Paramount would have hoped for.
Are we seeing the beginning of the end for studios’ reliance on remakes and reboots? While original (predominantly indie) horror productions are becoming breakaway hits left, right and centre, the modest big screen reception for Blair Witch last year and now Rings seems to suggest that established franchises are losing their pulling power.
On a side note, Paramount have also pulled June’s World War Z 2 from their schedule without explanation, although I can easily make my peace with that.
Words: Kevan Farrow (@KevanX)