Over the past week , industry commentators and armchair pundits alike have dissected why Scream 4 didn’t set the box office on fire. It’s mostly white noise to us, but two reports do bring up the elephant in the room – the prospect of a Scream reboot.
E! Online interpret Scream 4 as a sort of dividing line in history where sequels have been officially killed off by reboots:
The opening weekend for Scream 4 scared up a so-so $18 million. But does that mean that people would rather see the birth of a baby Ghostface than the ongoing adventures of a geriatric Ghostface. Well:
“If Scream 4 proved anything other than that irony is on its deathbed, it’s that horror reboots have a better chance of survival in the current cinematic marketplace than continuing sagas,” says box office analyst Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. “If there is a Scream 5, expect it to be re-titled Scream, and don’t expect David Arquette, Courteney Cox or Neve Campbell to return unless it’s in a cameo—in the form of a body bag.”
Need more proof? Numbers don’t lie. Lately we’ve had reboots of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th—and all of them just killed Scream 4 in terms of earnings. Massacre took in $28 million in its opening weekend and has earned $80 million domestically thus far; Nightmare enjoyed a $32 million opening weekend and boasts $63 million domestic dollars under Freddy’s belt; and the new Friday the 13th earned $40 million in its first Friday and Saturday and Sunday. (It’s earned about $65 mil so far.)
In contrast, Bock expects the new Scream installment to earn, “tops,” $40 million.
Over the past week or so we’ve spoken to a few in-the-know folks, one of whom is based at the studio, who had all heard the same thing : “”The Scream franchise will likely end here, at least for the moment.”
There’s the possibility that it could continue later on, “even as a direct-to-dvd franchise” says one, but this proposed new trilogy “stops here”.
The problem with the latter report is, they don’t specify which contact the DTV comment came from – the studio, or the other “in-the-know folks”, which leads us to believe it’s just industry chatter – until we know more. Let us remind you Scream 5 was never set in stone – everyone involved said it was box office dependent. Something tells us this isn’t over.
Scream 4 smartly skewered remakes – it would be an insulting fate for the series to turn around and become the very victim it rose above from. But then, the original trilogy ended with Scream 3, a movie many felt succumbed to the cliches the original laughed at.
More likely, we’re looking at another sleeping period for the franchise. Nowhere near 11 years though, surely. Even though Scream 2 was a roaring success, Scream 3 took 2 years to come to fruition. We take for granted that sequels are nowadays announced hot on the heels of opening weekend – sometimes even before.
Devil’s advocate, dear readers: Would you prefer a big budget theatrical reboot with an all-new cast, or a low-fi continuation of the Scream 1-4 timeline in your living room?