Posted on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 by Germain Lussier
If you follow a lot of film fans on Twitter, you might have seen a photo in your stream urging you to “Support Unrated Horror.” It was made to promote Adam Green’s horror sequel Hatchet II starring Kane Hodder, which was released unrated on October 1 after the MPAA refused to give it an R rating. Usually, when that happens, major theaters chains refuse to play a film. However, AMC looked they they too were supporting unrated horror when they agreed to show the film anyway, spawning some controversy. Well, mere days after the film opened, AMC Theaters has changed their minds and pulled the film from screens. Hit the jump to read more about the controversy. “We woke up this morning and the movie was gone,” director Adam Green told Entertainment Weekly on Monday. “I’m bewildered and confused.” That seems like a reasonable reaction. Hatchet II opened at #50 at the box office this weekend with $52,604, which is an average of $774 on 68 total screens. That’s not good, but Green doesn’t feel it’s bad enough to pull the film before the end of the week.
“It’s an unrated cult movie that didn’t have commercials and all those other things,” he said. “I don’t see them pulling a movie on Sunday because it doesn’t look like the box office is going to blow people away.”
Still, that’s AMC’s stance. In a statement they said:
“At AMC theaters, we review all films in all of our theatres every week and then make our business decisions based on their performance.”
That’s a far cry from telling the director that it was “was the best slasher sequel they’d ever seen” a few weeks before. Plus, Green tweeted that the film might have been pulled on Friday, before its box office fate was sealed.
Either way, Green believes the decision for AMC to pull his film has more to do with the fact that he was very outspoken against the MPAA when they refused to rate the film (He actually called them “evil.”) and that AMC’s decision to show it anyway might have made the powerful organization look bad. “I assume it probably had something to do with the controversy online about an unrated movie playing in theaters,” the director said. “To me, the whole thing is unfortunate because this is not a movie that deserves to be unrated. It’s a very funny, silly slasher movie about a swamp ghost that’s killing people in ridiculous ways. And now it’s become, you know, ‘Banned from cinemas.’ I’ve lost 11 pounds in the last week from stress.”
According to movie ticket websites, Hatchet II is still playing on some smaller independent screens but chances are that won’t last long. Instead, Green and his team can now just hope all this controversy drums up even more interest in the film when it comes to Blu-ray and DVD. Any press is good press right? But does that still apply if your movie got pulled from screens three days after opening? Did any of you see it?