House of the Dead
7. The studio slashed the budget following House of the Dead’s failure.
Back in 2004, zombies weren’t quite the mainstream juggernaut that they’ve become today. While horror fans in particular had love for Romero’s classic zombie film trilogy, the undead had struggled to make any sort of dent in the box office. Zombie flicks were becoming seen as a risky venture.
Uwe Boll didn’t help matters at all by releasing House of the Dead in 2003. While it featured “zombies”, it was one of the very worst movies of all time, and suddenly Universal was scared to move forward with a zombie movie. Rather than canceling the project, however, they significantly lowered the budget, so as not to suffer too big of a loss should the movie tank like House had done.
Universal execs promptly placed their feet in their mouths after Dawn of the Dead‘s opening weekend. With a $28 million dollar budget, Universal was able to make the money back within three days of the film’s release. Everything after that was all profit.
In fact, you could say that the success of this movie (with some aid from Shaun of the Dead) is what jumpstarted the undead’s pop culture takeover.
Next: Ving was a lock.