"Evil Dead," a graphic and gruesome R-rated remake of Sam Raimi's 1981 horror classic, is on its way to an easy weekend box office win, and could go as high as $27 million in its first three days.
It took in $11.9 million Friday -- including $1.8 million from Thursday midnight shows -- from 3,025 theaters nationwide. The weekend looks like a big win for distributor TriStar, Film District and Ghost House Pictures, since the "Evil Dead" production budget is an estimated $17 million.
The only other wide opener, Universal's 3D re-release of Steven Spielberg's 1993 smash "Jurassic Park," took in $7 million Friday and is looking at a three-day total of around $18 million. That's above expectations, but might not enough to beat out last week's No. 1 film "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" or "The Croods," both of which are expected to play strongly with families on Saturday and Sunday.
"Jurassic Park" was in 2,771 theaters, including more than 300 Imax screens. Universal spent $10 million on the conversion by Stereo D, the same outfit that worked on James Cameron's "Titanic."
Paramount's toy soldier sequel took in $6.7 million Friday and the DreamWorks Animation's prehistoric tale added $5.8 million, and both will likely wind up at around $21 million for the three days. "The Croods" has taken in more than $110 million in three weeks of domestic release.
"Tyler Perry's Temptation" took in $3.4 million Friday and is looking at an $10.5 million second week, with the president in peril thriller "Olympus Has Fallen" likely to come in around $10 million after taking in $3.1 million Friday.
First night audience gave "Evil Dead" a "C-" CinemaScore, low but not unusual for a horror film.
"Evil Dead" is the first feature to be directed by Fede Alvarez, who was hand-chosen by Raimi, who is a producer on the film along with Robert Tapert, who produced the original film, and Bruce Campbell, who played the heroic Ash in the original.
Jane Levy (TV's "Suburgatory") plays the lead, who is taken by a group of her 20-something friends to a remote cabin to get off drugs cold turkey. There, the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods, and the blood-letting -- and there's plenty of it -- begins. Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore co-star.