Adam Green's Hatchet II Pulled from US & Canadian Theaters
More trouble for the horror genre. After playing for one weekend, AMC has decided to pull Adam Green's Hatchet II from its theaters, following a Canadian pull as well. It was announced a few months ago that an unrated version of Green's sequel would play in about 60 AMC theaters starting on October 1st. The news is coming from a few sources, including STYD, and has been confirmed by Adam Green via Twitter, where he stated simply: "To those asking: Yes, Hatchet II UNRATED has been pulled from US theaters. Press release coming tomorrow when we have the full details." So what happened? Bad box office? Or other problems?
As far as we know, there is no officially confirmed reason why this happened, but a statement from AMC published at EW.com seems to indicate they wanted to test the release this weekend, as unrated (basically NC-17) movies are rarely shown in theaters; this was the widest unrated opening in 25 years. Apparently Hatchet II's mediocre box office (~$50,000) played into it quite a bit, but I also assume there were probably a lot of complains, as that's all it takes to push over a theater chain these days (just complain - that's how the Paranormal Activity 2 trailer got pulled). That seems to be all we know about why this happened for now.
The MPAA initially refused to give Hatchet II an R-rating, so AMC agreed to run the unrated version. In the original announcmeent, AMC's VP said: "Bringing a story like Hatchet II to our guests is a natural fit during this time of year and we're excited to share the filmmakers' vision on-screen in its intended state." It's very interesting to see them overturn this so quickly. Anchor Bay Films is planning to release the I Spit on Your Grave remake in theaters unrated later this year. Mixed reviews of the film from Fantastic Fest: Gordon and the Whale, Twitch, Film School Rejects. Will unrated/NC-17 movies ever play well in theaters? Thoughts?