If you haven’t heard the news by now: the press release is out and slasher movie Hatchet II has been yanked from theatres after only three days of its release.The uproar prior to this was director Adam Green’s big fight with the MPAA, because they maintained that the film should have an NC-17 rating.
In a nutshell, it went like this:
Adam Green: Watch this, suckas!
Adam Green: Okaaaaay, I cut a bunch of stuff out.
MPAA: You just can’t kill people like that.
Adam Green: But it’s over the top and totally unbelievable!
Adam Green: You’re evil.
AMC made some kind of deal and, based on reactions from the trailer, agreed to have a special release on the unrated movie in their theatres. After three days — citing horrible box office numbers as a reason — the film was pulled from the US and Canada. (Details here, and all over the rest of the internet.)
Now, I don’t have a dog in this fight — I like making slasher movies far more than I like watching them. I’m not a fan of the film and have no desire to watch it. But I did work in a movie theatre for 7 years, and my big sister is still in the biz. I know how booking movies works, and if we had to pull a film, we didn’t exactly have extra movies lying around that we had the ability — or permission — to play in its place. (Perhaps things have changed since digital projection, but I’m still waiting to get a tour of the 21st century projection booth.)
What I can tell you is this: there is definitely some other reason they’re yanking this film. You don’t just pull a film after three days. You book movies for at least a week, so whatever the reason is, no matter how poor the box office is, even $50K is better than nothing, which is all you have to play if you’re not playing the film you booked.