The numbers are in, and it looks as if Sony Pictures and Screen Gems’ THE GRUDGE is off to a favorable start at the box office with $1.8 million earned in Thursday preview screenings. Despite the movie receiving mixed to terrible reviews from fans and critics alike, analysts have director Nicolas Pesce‘s reboot of Takashi Shimizu‘s JU-ON: THE GRUDGE scaring up $9 million in tickets sold throughout the weekend. While that number doesn’t sound significant when compared to other blockbusters that are currently sweeping up dollars alongside stale popcorn at the theater, it’s important to keep in mind that THE GRUDGE only cost $10 million to produce.
If you’re new to the concepts presented in THE GRUDGE, allow me to catch you up a bit. Released as a part of the Screamfest Film Festival in October of 2002, Shimizu’s JU-ON: THE GRUDGE – much like Pesce’s reboot – tells the tale of a vengeful spirit that dooms those who dare to enter its cursed home. Once the malevolent entity fixates on a poor and unsuspecting soul, that person is then destined to suffer a most violent death.
Once it was made clear that Shimizu’s original film was a bonafide hit, he was then contracted by Columbia Pictures to remake THE GRUDGE for American audiences. Shimizu then directed the film based on a screenplay written by Stephen Susco, with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, KaDee Strickland, Clea Duvall, and Bill Pullman starring as the main cast.
Headlining Pesce’s version of THE GRUDGE are actors Tara Westwood, Junko Bailey, David Lawrence Brown, Zoe Fish, Andrea Risenborough, Jackie Weaver, and Demián Bichir, among others.
I’ll be interested to see how THE GRUDGE performs throughout the weekend, especially after word of mouth about the film’s awkward pacing and reliance on cheap jump scares starts to spread. That being said, some folks might be looking for something familiar and easy to digest at the cinema this weekend, and I say all the power to them. After all, who am I to hold a grudge over what does and does not entertain?
THE GRUDGE is now playing in theaters.