Update 5/26: It would appear that the excitement over this movie was a bit premature. Beyond the stellar midnight numbers, ticket sales sank as the movie only seems to be on pace for $11.5 million for the 4-Day. That is not to say that the number sucks for such a film, but it definitely is not what studios thought based on Thursday night’s results.
Original 5/25: There are not enough critic reviews just yet to piece together a credible ‘critics reaction’ piece to Chernobyl Diaries, but the horror feature is worth a mention as it took in over a half a million in midnight showings last night. Reviews so far have this one down as a dud with early audience reaction on the other side of the fence. Let us take a quick look at what this movie is exactly given that a sequel now appears to be inevitable.
Chernobyl Diaries is visual effects wizard Bradley Parker’s directorial debut, and lucky for him, it looks to be a hit thanks in part to a script from Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli. Also going for this film is its monopoly on the horror genre. We have seen this earlier in the year with The Devil Inside which was an absolute disaster of a film; however, audiences flocked to it in droves because it was the only game in town. $53 million later, the film’s previously unknown director William Brent Bell now has multiple projects vying for his attention despite helming one of the worst received movies of the decade.
Look for a box office update to come as the weekend progresses. The initial expectation for Chernobyl Diaries‘ performance was around $15 million for the weekend; however, midnight’s strong debut indicates that the movie could open to well beyond that amount.