Hollywood 2009: 1970s Remakes of Family and Horror Score at Box-Office

March 14, 2009–Two remakes of the 1970s easily dragged down “Watchmen” in its second Friday as Disney’s Dwayne Johnson adventure “Race to Witch Mountain” was first with $6.7 million followed by Universal/Rogue’s “The Last House on the Left,” which made $5.6 million.

Warner-Paramount’s ultra-violent comic book epic “Watchmen” fell 78% from its opening day landing third Friday with an estimated $5.4 million from 3,611 theaters. The eight-day cumulative figure currently stands at $73.3 million.

While “Last House on the Left” took away some of the male crowd from “Watchmen” yesterday, the Zack Snyder film may depend on the impact of its 124 Imax playdates as well as repeat business from fanboys.

Meanwhile, the reteaming of Johnson with helmer Andy Fickman, who both collaborated on the 2007 Disney sleeper comedy “The Game Plan,” proved similar  results: the first day for “Race to Witch Mountain” was slightly higher than the $6.3 million made by “Game Plan,” which went on to ring up $23 million in its opening weekend. Playing at 3,187 engagements, “Race to Witch Mountain” is a reimagination of Disney’s 1970s family franchise.

Based on Wes Craven’s 1972 directorial debut, “The Last House on the Left” grossed per site average $2,324 from 2,401 engagements. Like Craven’s 2006 “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Last House” bills the horror master as a producer but not helmer.  “Last House” was directed by Dennis Iliadis whose previous credit was the 2004 indie “Hardcore.”