Adjusted for inflation The Exorcist 1973 is one of the top 10 highest grossing1 films ever made. Discard Jaws 1975 as a horror film (as I do) and it is the industry high grossing horror film ever made.
91% of Americans believe in God2 (88% of people worldwide3). Belief in God is a belief in the existence of the devil. This applies to Christians, Muslims and Jews. As in 1973 these are fertile days for the religious film (Passion of the Christ 2004), novel (The Da Vinci Code pub. 2003) and horror.
The last 15 months has seen the release of three independent productions: Paranormal Activity 2009 has a domestic gross of $108million on a $15k production budget; its sequel grossed $84m on a $3m budget; The Last Exorcism 2010 has grossed $41m on $1.8m. There be gold in them thar hills.
Enter the studios. The Exorcist was made by Warner Bros. It is based on the eponymous novel by William Peter Blatty. The Rite 2011 is made by New Line Cinema a subsidiary of Warner Bros. It is based on the eponymous novel by Matt Baglio4. Horror films are sold on the power of the story. None of the aforementioned blockbusters have a single movie star between them (Ellen Burstyn wasn’t a star in 1973 and her name didn’t sell the picture). Despite this Warner Bros are taking no chances. Sir Anthony Hopkins is the headline of this picture.
Ever since The Silence of the Lambs 1991 Hopkins has been an overrated movie star. He should have remained a respected character actor like Robert Duvall. Hopkins’ blustering in Dracula 1992 is identikit to his bellowing in The Wolfman 2010. Without Hannibal Lector his ability to open a movie is questionable. However after watching the trailer it looks like his role is the second lead – and this is where he excels. Like in The Silence of the Lambs.
The Rite opens 28th January in the US and 25th February in the UK.
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2 Digg 91% of Americans believe in God
3 WikiAnswers 88% worldwide believe in God
4 The Rite by Matt BaglioTechnorati Tags:the rite, horror films, anthony hopkins, warner bros, new line cinema, matt baglio
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