When we first heard about Lords of Salem, the new film from Rob Zombie, last year we were pretty psyched. A few trailers showed that the film looked amazing visually, and Zombie isn’t one to skimp on disturbing imagery. Then it was announced that the film wasn’t coming out around Halloween, like we’d thought, but was pushed back to this past Friday (April 19th). Maybe they should have released it around Halloween, though, as its first week in release found it only making about $622,000, coming in as this week’ 16th most-watched film. Granted, it was in limited release, only playing in 340 theaters, which is about 1/10th of the screens a typical blockbuster opens in. But the $1,800 per screen average, and reports from people that went to see it in nearly-empty theaters isn’t encouraging.
That being said, it’s not like anyone’s going broke on this. Zombie told Howard Stern last week that he made the movie for under $2.5 million and boxofficemojo lists the movie as being made for $1.5 million. Anchor Bay paid $2 million for distribution rights, plus marketing, so we’re looking at maybe $5 million. If and when it expands into more theaters, it’ll likely at least recoup that in a few weeks. And even if it does tank, it’s not like it’s losing anyone too much money any way. Not to mention the fact that Rob is getting to promote his album, Venemous Rat Regeneration Vendor, which comes out tomorrow, in all the press he’s doing, so even if he loses, he wins.