Dark Shadows opened for a midnight showing in 1,600 theaters on Friday. The early morning release received a lukewarm reception, earning an estimated $550,000 at the box office, according to analysts.
The horror/comedy is a remake based on the daytime soap of the same name. It stars Johnny Depp as the vampire Barnabas Collins. It’s directed by Tim Burton. The plot revolves around a rich playboy who breaks the heart of a witch (played by Eva Green). She takes her vengeance by killing his parents and turning Barnabas into a vampire. Then she buries him alive, where he remains for 200 years. Flash forward to 1972, when he is inadvertently freed and finds himself in a very different world, still filled with old evils and temptations from his past.
The film has received mixed reviews at best. Over at Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a rating of just 42% from the critics. Tom Long, a critic for the Detroit News, said of the film “How bad is ‘Dark Shadows’? It makes you long for a ‘Twilight’ movie. That’s bad.” Brian Tallerico of HollywoodChicago.com says the movie is “part comedy, part horror, part ’70s spoof, part soap opera. And yet none of the genres in this mash-up are the least bit successful.”
Dark Shadows has done a bit better with the audience. With just over 55,000 ratings counted at Rotten Tomatoes so far, it has a 72% ‘liked it’ rating. A fairly typical reflection of comments from movie-goers is this one from Brandon O: “A typical Burton feature, quirky and a bit dark. Shadows has a couple laughs but the trailer paints a somewhat different picture. The conclusion is somewhat lackluster but it was a lot of fun to watch.” And this one from Carolyn H: “Don’t expect a nostalgic feeling if you were a fan of the orginal TV series. There’s humor (especially from the character ‘Carolyn’, lol) and bad jabs of horror. Not a good Johnny Depp film yet better than ‘Rum Diaries’. Maybe worth catching at a matinee.”
The official Dark Shadows trailer, released by Warner Bros. is below: