Eli Roth Says R-Rated Horror Films Are in “Serious Jeopardy”

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?

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  • http://futiletitle.blogspot.com/ Ian

    yeah the release was poorly timed. I think much like Jay has said before on the podcast that horror has fads and if this gore and shock fad that has been big for the past 5 years or so is wanning then that’s just the way things will go.

  • Phil

    Indeed, I don’t think the public wants these movies anymore!

    Why would anyone go to see people screaming and getting graphically tortured? It’s just tasteless and gross, and thankfully box office receipts seem to be showing that.

  • Aaron

    I’m getting sick of all this whining over piracy. Anyone who actually pays attention will notice that the same group responsible for most of piracy is also the same group of people still going to movies: teenagers and young adults.

    Sure, it’s pretty easy to point a figure and say that your movie is doing poorly because of [insert excuse here] but maybe your movie just sucks? Perhaps the vast majority of movie goers just aren’t interested in shock factor based gore flicks anymore. The genera had a good run in the lime light, let it go.

  • @spence

    well hell i would rather watch a crapfest for free, than pay my hard earned money for it…..

  • avi

    I blame the theatres for motivating piracy… why would I want to buy a $12 ticket, and a $6 bag of popcorn, only to see a movie with people talking and text messaging througout the film. It would be alot cheaper and more entertaining for me to download the movie at home and watch it in a nice quiet enviroment. and I can make my own popcorn for less than a dollar a bag.
    they should really look into theatrical movies on demand in HD to our home theatres.

  • 1138

    Jeez! Why don’t we blame everyone for a movie’s lack of success…everyone except your self!!! I wouldn’t download that piece of crap if you paid me!! Well maybe if you paid me a lot.

    But seriously I hated the first one and I am tired of movies with gore and no suspense! Has any new director studied Alien? The Thing? Halloween?

    Gore doesn’t make a film, good film making makes a film.

    Piracy hasn’t destroyed the film industry like the recording industry because:

    1. Prices are still reasonable (For now)
    2. downloads of movies take time and more bandwidth unlike simple music downloads. Most people just don’t have the patience
    3. People enjoy the night on the town going to the movies. It’s really apart of our culture
    4. The movie industry has moved faster onto internet downloads faster than the music industry. Granted the movie industry is still slow going but still moving. And they had to witness the downfall of the music industry to really do anything.

  • http://madaboutmovies.net Marina

    Oh yes. Let’s stop making so called “torture porn” but lets keep making crap movies like “Norbit” that don’t really hurt anybody. None of the frakin’ morons that went to see that piece of shit movie (not me, I refused to see it even for a review) gave a second thought to how more than 1/2 of the American population probably find it offensive. And for me, it’s much more offensive than “Hostel II”.

    It’s a sad state of affairs.

  • Kjetil B

    Why would anybody want to see anyone being tortured and killed anyway?
    Why blame the people for not seeing the movie? The people of the world obviously dont fancy that type of film..
    If a company makes a product (Lets say.. Chocolate!) that doesnt sell, they cant acuse the competition of stealing custumers! They have to realize that somthing is wrong with the product/marketing and do a better job! maby the example is a little off, but you all know what i mean!

  • http://www.rianmiller.com Rian

    I wouldn’t say that I don’t want to see these types of movies anymore. In this case I just feel like Hostel II is essentially going to be a repeat of the previous film. Also, this just isn’t a movie that I feel like rushing out of the house to see in theaters. This is a “catch it on cable in a year or two” or “rent it when there’s nothing better to do and nothing better on the shelves” scenario. Nothing about Hostel II really excites me. There are no actors in it that make me enthusiastic about the film, the director doesn’t hold too much worth in my eyes yet, and as I said, is it really going to be that different from the first one?

  • broke

    I personally enjoyed the first hostel for its cheap thrils,2 was dissapointing but it wasnt even that gory so I dont know why people are getting all uptight about it. (basically if u havent seen it and just want to diss because you dont like these movies why are you even reading – go and watch brokeback mountain or whatever pretentious nonsense you really enjoy) but yes the genre is tired and offers nothing new. This kind of “splatter” movie has been around since late 70s early 80s and they were fairly rubbish then too.
    I would like to see an intelligent horror that does contain gore but not used for the sake of gore but used it conjunction with a decent story and plot. It has been a while since we have had a decent alien, the thing type movie that has gore and a good story line maybe sci-fi is the way forward…..who knows?

  • broke

    I personally enjoyed the first hostel for its cheap thrils,2 was dissapointing but it wasnt even that gory so I dont know why people are getting all uptight about it.yes the genre is tired and offers nothing new. This kind of “splatter” movie has been around since late 70s early 80s and they were fairly rubbish then too.The trouble is they arent scary movies in the sense that you get an actual fright or are left feeling uncomfortable. you just feel sickened and that is why so many people dont like them.I’d like to see an intelligent horror that does contain gore but not used for the sake of gore but used it conjunction with a decent story and plot. It has been a while since we have had a decent alien, the thing type movie that has gore and a good story line maybe sci-fi is the way forward…..who knows?

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