Rape on Christmas Might Have Hurt Dragon Tattoo Numbers, but Sequels Are Coming Anyway

Despite the fact that the book was a global bestseller, and the US version of the film generated tons of buzz, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has not been a blockbuster at the box office. It opened behind Mission Impossible: Ghost Booty Call ($29 M) and Sherlock 2 ($20 M), making only $12 million opening weekend. $12 million might sound like a lot of money, but GWTDT had a budget of $90 million. $12 million is what you call a disappointment. Digital rodent vehicle Chipwrecked earned the same amount that same weekend and made almost double — $23 million — its opening weekend.

According to Deadline Hollywood, some rival studio execs thought that the mediocre numbers would keep Sony Pictures from moving ahead with Dragon Tattoo sequels. After all, Stieg Larsson wrote a trilogy, and The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest should come next. Why dump more cash into an underperforming franchise? But since Dragon Tattoo is still selling tickets (earning $76 million domestically so far) the studio has decided to press ahead: Two more movies are on the way.

But the studio did learn a lesson: Families headed to the multiplex on Christmas probably don't want to watch a woman get raped.

Sony and rival studios believe the movie's box office was hurt by that long brutal rape scene not appropriate for a Christmas release. ("It's a notch too dark for that window," one studio chief tells me. Agrees a top Sony exec, "It was too cocky of us. We might think about that next time.")

Sony Going Ahead With ‘Dragon Tattoo' Sequels Despite Underperforming Box Office [Deadline Hollywood]