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October 24 2004

'Grudge' Curses 'Shark' Hat Trick. "Audiences weren't frightened off by Sarah Michelle Gellar's latest horror debut this past weekend. "The Grudge," the American remake of the Japanese horror thriller "Ju-on," took in $40 million its first weekend, grabbing the top spot from DreamWorks' animated family film "Shark Tale"".

Yeah! Thats really great for Sarah and $40,000,000 is pretty cool. Fingers crossed it will stay there next week as well
I think that was 20 million dollars more than the pundits expected.
I'm glad it did well, I saw it last night and enjoyed it. I can't look at my cat Willow without being a bit freaked out, but that's beside the point.
I still never got to watch the movie.It looks like a good movie.
Yes I knew I saw the predicted box-office take mentioned at the Hollywood Reporter yesterday:

"It is expected to perform like DreamWorks' "The Ring," another PG-13 Japanese remake that opened to $15 million in 2002. "The Grudge," bowing in 3,245 theaters, is likely to bring in about $20 million.".
Yeah!!! Awesome opening weekend!
The Ring`s opening weekend was 15, and that`s The Grudge`s Opening Day :D

I want to see the movie as soon as possible here in Spain.
I can't wait to see it. We live across the street from a theatre and I go LESS now than when I lived 30 miles from the nearest one! Go figure!!!!
The multimillion dollar amount may actually be similar or greater next week, being Halloween weekend and all. The Grudge's major competition would be SAW, and that's going to scare away a lot of people because it's just gross. SMG is much easier to look at than that stupid puppet in Saw.
Now, I know this film only cost about 12 million to make so I'm wondering if SMG is getting a cut of the profits? If so, good for her! Good for her anyways, because that's a great opening weekend. I liked the movie (would've probably loved it if it hadn't been for the very disruptive young crowd which made it hard to follow what was going on at times). It was a good thriller, had you jumping out of your seat the whole time.
So happy for SMG!!! I've had it marked on my calendar for months now...but I've been so busy this weekend!! Hopefully I can catch it this week sometime!
Let's hope this (and her involvement in Southland Tales) raises her profile enough to thrust her career out of the Scooby Doo-type quagmire. She deserves a chance at the kind of films Naomi "Ring" Watts does (Mulholland Dr, 21 Grams...)
Nothing matters more in Hollywood than box office, so this should be great for SMG's career.

And check out the "Suck less" link on that page. That was one of the things she tought the director to say in english!
Here's a couple more articles, hope I did this right 'cause it's my first attempt at linking to other pages.
'Grudge' Delivers Shock at Box Office


No 'Grudge' Against Gellar at Box Office

[ edited by blwessels on 2004-10-24 21:39 ]
Well that's good! A lot better than I thought it would do. But then, The Ring's success kind of grew slowly and I guess people like this new type of horror. (New to america anyway)
I wasn't surprised at the big numbers considering the theater we went to was packed and when we were leaving our showing there was a large crowd waiting to get in to the next viewing. The buzz of the crowd leaving was also promising and sounded like the majority really liked it. Overheard people stating it was better than The Ring. My daughter who is obsessed with these types of movies and has The Ring on DVD, the original Japanese Ringu series of movies and the books even stated she thought it was better than The Ring.
I'm really pleased for her and the rest of the cast. They did a heck of a lot of promotional work for the movie and it paid off in dividends for them (it almost got to the point where Grudge interviews and articles were appearing in the likes of Carpet Fitting monthy).

I'm curious to know how it only cost $10 million to make. Anyone in the know able to explain?
I'm thrilled that it had such a mind-blowing opening weekend. Any movie that more than triples it's budget in the first 3 days is definitely going to get a sequel. I saw the film on Saturday and was quite impressed, and I also think I enjoyed it more than The Ring. It was a little meaner and leaner and had some wonderfully creepy atmosphere.
Very impressive! Glad to hear that it's doing better than predicted. I'm going to see it tonight. :)

As for what this means to Sarah's career, I hope it translates to her getting meatier roles in good movies.
I'm curious to know how it only cost $10 million to make. Anyone in the know able to explain?

I'm thinking it probably has to do with the fact that the film industry in Japan isn't unionized to the degree it is in North America. And thus they can get away with paying lower wages, and can have the crew work longer hours, to cut costs. It's something confirmed by Taka Ichise, in this Grudge-related link. Specifically, the following excerpt...

Question: What do you think is the biggest difference between the Japanese film industry and the American film industry?

Taka: The budget for Japanese film is twenty times different - and there is no union whatsoever in Japan, so if, you know, we can make them work 24 hours a day. In America there are union rules, while in Japan usually the producer can have ultimate control over everything.


That ties into something SMG said in a prior interview -- "by American standards it was probably one of the cheapest films made this year but by Japan standards it was one of the most expensive films ever filmed at Toho Studios where the Godzilla movies are made."

That being said, I'm not sure how much Sarah was paid for the film. Given that it only cost 10-12 million dollars to make, I'm guessing her salary wasn't very high. Though as blwessels pointed out, maybe she's instead getting a percentage of the profit -- in which case, she's currently in a rather decent position :)

I'm happy to see the movie's doing so well :)

[ edited by inverse on 2004-10-24 23:57 ]
I suspect what inverse says about the absence of union rules in Japan is the main reason for the low budget. Also, the film has relatively few 'special effects', which would also keep the cost down. In addition to this it was filmed, I believe, on the same sets used for 'Ju-on: The Grudge'. Assuming that this is correct, there would be no substantial set building costs involved.

As to the budget, I don't think an 'official' amount has been confirmed. I have read that the budget was $10 million, $12 million and $15 million. Screenwriter Stephen Susco said the orginal budget was set at $4-5 million and he was "fairly certain" it eventually came in at under $20 million. Whichever figure is correct, it is still a relatively low amount, although not all that unusual in truth.
Haven't seen it yet. Gonna wait for the crowds to die down. Whether SMG got money up front or if she got points from the net profits doesn't matter. The important thing is she's now officially on the map. This is like Halloween was for Jamie Lee Curtis. Both actresses had done stuff prior to their breakthrough film, but when a film makes way more money than was invested in the production, that star's career changes for the better, and Hollywood becomes much more forgiving. She'll be able to do Harvard Man Two and people might actually go.
My husband and I saw it on Friday and loved it. We are big fans of the originals and we were happy that the American version was just as good. Having the original director and keeping it in Japan was really the key I think. In my opinion I liked it much better than The Ring probably for this reason.

Like blwessels we were stuck with obnoxious teenagers in our showing who keep saying, "wait I thought he was dead!" I felt like yelling "it's called non-linear storytelling, you little twits!" Then I silently thanked my husband for convincing me that spending all that money on the big screen TV and surround sound was ok. Thanks to Netflix we won't be braving the theatre again until Serenity.
Good for Sarah. It's nice to see all her hard work promoting this film pay off.

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