With file sharing and movie pirating (argh!) on the rise, straight-to-DVD releases have been on the decline in recent years. 2014 was a tough year for this category and a lot of titles that should have sold millions never grossed their full potential. Regardless, there were a lot of great straight-to-DVD releases this year on all home video markets.
With this post I’m going to share with you how some of these titles did this year. The list certainly doesn’t represent all titles that received distribution, more-so the list only shows the movies I was able to find numbers for. The list also doesn’t include Redbox rentals, streams, and other VOD outlets. Only the hardcopy disc sales are displayed below as of the last week in December 2014.
1. See No Evil 2 – $1,140,000
After eight years of anticipation the sequel to See No Evil was finally released. There was a whole lot of elements that culminated in this movie doing well; some of those reasons including Danielle Harris playing the lead, WWE Superstar Kane returning as Jacob Goodnight, and the popular twin creators The Soska Sisters taking on the job as director. Again, eight years in the making, I think See No Evil 2 did not suffer from the sophomore slump in terms of quality.
2. Leprechaun: Origins – $1,060,000
Another WWE Studios feature, Leprechaun: Origins was meant as a reboot to revitalize the interest in the long running Leprechaun franchise that was abandoned in 2003. Although it had low first week sales and received heavy criticism, fans of the original movies showed up in droves and were able to propel this movie to fairly decent sales. Was this enough to keep the franchise going into 2015 and beyond? Only time will tell.
3. Wrong Turn 6 – $970,000
All of the direct-to-DVD Wrong Turn sequels – installments 2 through 5 – managed to make back their base budget and more, which is why the series continues despite universal panning. So, why has the latest sequel Last Resort stalled just before the million dollar mark? Well, apparently the missing persons board used in one scene was a REAL missing persons board and the family of one of the victims sued those involved with the movie and it was recalled from all outlets for a few weeks to be re-edited.
4. Joy Ride 3 – $819,000
Just as with See No Evil 2 and Leprechaun: Origins, Joy Ride 3 was another revived movie franchise, with the last film Joy Ride 2 having gone direct-to-DVD in 2008. Director Declan O’Brien took over the steering wheel on this one, but for some reason he wasn’t able to bring in the same sales as his previous work. I enjoyed it personally and I know the Joy Ride franchise isn’t the most popular, but for some reason it didn’t quiet make it to the finish line with horror fans.
5. Wolf Creek 2 – $147,000
I still haven’t seen the first Wolf Creek, which was released in 2005, so I have yet to see this sequel either. Still, I was surprised to see it hitting retailers when it did. While the sales numbers look very low here, you have to remember the Wolf Creek franchise is mostly filmed and praised around the country of Australia, which is why US sales may appear lower than average.
6. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero – $71,000
In October director Eli Roth announced that he was planning to remake the first Cabin Fever. This was an odd announcement to a lot of horror fans – myself included – because Patient Zero had been released just eight months prior. Well, looking at the sales numbers here, I can see why Mr. Roth wants to try to redo the series. Again, I enjoyed this title personally, but it looks like fans of the franchise are bored.