Dead On Arrival: ‘Flatliners’ Remake stumbles and falls with $2M Opening Day

Hint: when films have a “no Thursday previews/reviews” policy… run…

Image for post
Image for post


While this September weekend can be considered slow and uneventful by American box office standards, the only noteworthy opener being Tom Cruise’s “American Made” at a healthy $6M, you can always count of Sony Pictures to crash and burn in spectacular fashion.

Not so fresh off the disastrous 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev is the thick of a box office cluster with his remake of the 1990 Joel Schumacher film “Flatliners” only earning $2M on a production budget of over $19M.

With no sign of an audience pulse in sight.

Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson estimates the film, starring a youthful cast of Ellen Page, Kiersey Clemons, Nina Dobrev and Rogue One’s own Diego Luna, is likely to pull in over/under a $5.8m opening weekend. This covers the cost of only 25% of production funds excluding marketing which could be an extra $10M-so on top.

A realisation that I’m sure has executives running to protect their debts in a newly fortified Bahamas when they realise films like this, with such critic and audience distain, generally fall at the Box Office by over 50% on their second weekend, and more so as the weeks continue.

This is drastically different to the box office life of Schumacher’s original which rode to a $60M success on a $20M budget, sporting a cast that included Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon. Does this modern day team have that kind of pull? Well, you tell me.

“Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie,” reads the Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus,“and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival.” Projecting right now in well over 2,552 theaters, it wouldn’t surprise me if this gets dragged out to the grave sooner than expected.

Bailey T. Steen is a journalist, editor, artist and film critic based in Victoria, Australia. To support this content, and more to come like it, the options include Patreon and Paypal, where I hope to keep this content free.

My content has been graciously published on Trigtent, Janks Reviews, Newslogue and right here on Medium. For updates and contact, the best place to touch base is on Twitter and Facebook, and the comments below.

Written by

troubled writer, depressed slug, bisexual simp, neoliberal socialist, trotskyist-bidenist, “corn-pop was a good dude, actually,” bio in pronouns: (any/all)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store