The all new prequel to John Carpenter’s masterpiece movie The Thing arrives in theaters this weekend… and no one showed up to see it. Early box office results are in and it looks like the best The Thing could manage was a meager $8 million earned over the course of the three-day weekend. That was only enough to earn it third place on the box office, behind fellow newcomer (and remake) Footloose.
The difference between the two films though, is obvious. Both are reboots of a recognized franchise name, but Footloose, against all odds, somehow managed to get good reviews. The Thing, with a pretty pathetic 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, didn’t.
It’s worth noting, however, that though John Carpenter’s 1982 version of The Thing story is now considered a classic, it wasn’t particularly well received at the time either. Critics didn’t know what to make of it and neither did audiences. Carpenter’s movie only made $3 million its opening weekend and ended up only earning a grand total of $19 million during its theatrical release. It was only later, due in part to a devoted cult following, that the movie took its place as one of the great pieces of sci-fi horror in cinematic history. That seems unlikely to happen for this new Thing, but I suppose you never know.
It’s not all bad news for science fiction at the box office. The Thing is a flop but the more fun than you’d expect robot boxing movie Real Steel is still going strong. It was number one for the second weekend in a row and perhaps more importantly, only lost 40% of its audience from the previous week to earn $16 million over this weekend.