2 ‘all time’ being the last 20 years when, surprisingly, such records began1.
3 Sterling is worth $1.6 USD. The UK/US population ratio is 1:5. To buttress the point The Woman in Black was released on 457 screens in the UK and 2855 in the US; a ration of 1:6.
In actuality The Woman in Black has earned $54m in America4. That’s not bad but it’s not the highest grossing horror film in the US. Not ever and not even this year5.
Back in Blighty production house Hammer Films was so ecstatic they’ve announced a sequel6. The reader is to be reminded of similar ghost stories that were more successful –The Others 2001 and The Sixth Sense 1999 – and the sequels that followed them.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill was published in 1983. It has since been adapted for radio and television. It is the second longest running stage play in the history of London’s West End7. If JK Rowling is indeed richer than Queen Elizabeth then why can’t other writers jump on that money train? Hammer Films have press ganged Susan Hill to collaborate on the sequel. There’s no police report to suggest that Hammer knocked her on the head but there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
In 1993 Demolition Man opened at #1. It went on to gross $58m domestic ($92m inflation adjusted). Its total international box office was $159m8 ($253m) Producer Joel Silver heralded it as a success but the LA Times9 reported production and marketing costs at $97m ($154m).
There hasn’t been a sequel.
Hammer’s boast is that of the tallest midget. In a century of cinema the records they cite go back a mere 20 years. They don’t even include Hammer’s own heyday of 1955-1974. The success of The Woman in Black is due to Daniel Radcliffe. This is a star driven vehicle – and stars demand star salaries. Whatever the production and marketing costs were Radcliffe is sure to have negotiated a percentage of the gross.
Without Radcliffe Hammer wouldn’t have had anything to boast about. This film is more The Haunting 1999 than it is The Innocents 1961. It is special effects, CGi and jump scares. Radcliffe brought in the Harry Potter crowd but he won’t be in the sequel. There won’t be a 30 year old novel and a 25 year old stage play to draw in the pensioners.
The Woman in Black is a conjuror’s trick but the kids at the birthday party can see right through it. The adult version was made for TV and can be seen on Youtube.
It’s worth the price of a computer.
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