The budgets kept rising and the box office tallies kept dropping, but after three Scream movies, someone decided they needed another. Hayden Panettiere, one of the stars of the upcoming Scream 4, thinks the world is ready for another installment of the fright series, and said as much to MTV recently.
“I think it’s just perfect timing, the amount of time that has passed since the last one came out,” she said. “It’s a perfect setup, with all of these films … the [fictional] ‘Stab’ [movies] and all the things like that. I think with all of the ‘Scream’ [films], the idea is to throw the audience for a loop every time.”
I’ll admit that I thought the film-within-the-film Stab idea was clever. The first time around. In fact, the first Scream movie that came out waaaay back in 1996 and was a pretty solid film. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson took a bunch of no-name actors (at the time, with the exception of Barrymore) and made a great scary movie.
But with subsequent films, the quality dropped off. The ratings dropped off. And the box office haul slipped as well. The first film grossed $173 million worldwide while Scream 3 managed just $161M on a budget that was 285% higher. That’s not good business. So is the world really willing to accept a fourth film?
This time around we do have some fresh blood like Panettiere to mix with the old stalwarts like Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell. Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Adam Brody and Mary McDonnell are all lending their talents to Wes Craven’s latest nightmare. It is indeed a new decade, as the tag line states. Are audiences ready for the new rules?
“For an audience that is so well-versed in ‘Scream’ [films] and in what happens and who becomes the killer, blah, blah, blah, it’s trickier to throw them a curveball,” Panettiere said. “I think they’ve done a really cool job with the script. We’ve had a blast on it.”