Evidently, the lack of reviews — both the good and the not-so-much — had little effect on the opening weekend grosses for Ghost Rider, certainly good news for Sony Pictures and Marvel Comics.
Box Office Mojo and the Associated Press are reporting the silver screen debut of the Flaming Skull Guy earned an estimated $44.5 million this weekend, more than doubling the take of other newbies including Disney’s Bridge to Terabithia ($22 million) and Warner’s Music and Lyrics ($19.5 million over 5 days).
An interesting factoid #1: The last time Flaming Skull Guy’s Mark Steven Johnson directed a superhero movie, the once-was-obviously-enough Daredevil (back on the weekend of February 18, 2003) opened the weekend of February 18, 2003 with a $45 million gross on its way to slightly more than $100 million.
With a $110 million in production costs spent on the Flaming Skull Guy, however, it’s anyone’s guess whether Sony Pictures will make back its initial investment in the theatres, or on the soon-to-be-DVD release, and if Ghost Rider will be just another one-and-done superhero “tentpole” franchise.
Interesting factoid #2: The only superhero films released in the late winter/early spring period in recent memory (that is, if you don’t count The Matrix) that earned sequels were directed by Guillermo del Toro (Blade 2 and Hellboy).