In the second week of its theatrical run, Hostel: Part II pocketed a disappointing $3 million, bringing its domestric gross up to $14 million and leaving it in danger of dropping out of a lot of theatres by next weekend. Although the movie has already made its $10 million budget back, it has definitely performed below expectations. Recently, director Eli Roth put up a post on his MySpace blog, blaming piracy for the low numbers and urging fans to go out and see the movie while they still can.
“Piracy has become worse than ever now, and a stolen workprint (with unfinished music, no sound effects, and no VFX) leaked out on line before the release, and is really hurting us, especially internationally. Piracy will be the death of the film industry, as it killed the music industry, and while it makes a smaller dent in huge movies like Spider Man 3, it really hurts films like mine, which have far less of an advertising and production budget… Right now the R rated horror film is in serious jeopardy. Studios feel the public doesn’t want them any more, and so they are only putting PG-13 films into production. The only way to counter this perception is to get out there and support R rated horror. It’s the only message they’ll hear.”
I wasn’t all that pleased with Hostel: Part II myself, but I do worry if what he says about R-rated horror films is true. I have found people getting less enthused about straight up shocks and gore in horror flicks, so maybe there is a lesson for Roth himself to take away from this too. As for the piracy problem, I question whether releasing it in the summer (as opposed to the first one, which came out in January) may have played an even bigger role in its disappointing turnout. What do you think? Did you see Hostel: Part II, and if not, why not?