BloodRayne opening declared "a debacle"

<i>Variety</i> reports exhibitors refusing to show director Uwe Boll's latest; film nets a paltry $1.2 million over opening weekend.

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By most accounts, Uwe Boll's latest game-to-film adaptation, BloodRayne, is stinking up movie theaters across the country. Those that actually screened their prints for audiences, that is.

Variety is reporting today that the vampire-themed action-horror film, which independent distributor Romar had said would be shown on more than 1,900 screens across the country, only wound up on 985. The venerable entertainment magazine's Web site labeled the debut "a debacle" for Romar, reporting that hundreds of BloodRayne prints were sent to exhibitors who hadn't asked for them, and refused to show them.

Based on Majesco's BloodRayne series of games, the film wound up pulling in $1.2 million, a far cry from the $20.1 million brought in by new release and weekend-box-office champ Hostel. Another gamer-centric new release, Grandma's Boy, did slightly better than BloodRayne, with $2.9 million in ticket sales.

News of BloodRayne's woes must come as a shock to actor Billy Zane (Back to the Future, The Phantom), one of the movie's stars, as he insisted shortly before the film's release that Boll "has totally made his mark and put his naysayers and critics to rest with this film."

Zane might feel obligated to say that, however. After all, he is a partner in the upstart distributor Romar, which chose BloodRayne as its first film.

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