Sean Cunningham's "So Not Good" Film 'Jason Goes To Hell' Had Opening Box Office Power

It is true that Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday leads the way in dividing the fan base of the franchise. Once upon a time, Friday The 13th: A New Beginning drew the most ire of people that loved Friday The 13th, but even time has healed those wounds. That is not the case with the ninth film in the franchise as even over twenty years later, fans debate the hits and misses of a true departure from the series formula.

The interesting part of the production of the film is that New Line Cinema gave the keys of their newly acquired horror franchise back to Sean Cunningham, who had helped create it just thirteen years earlier. He in turn entrusted the newest film to Adam Marcus, fresh out of film school. Along with screenwriter Dean Lorey, the duo helped create the most unusual, yet engaging and gory sequel of the entire franchise.

Sean Cunningham was ultimately not impressed with the final product, including having to take to the directors chair for final shots of production. In his interview for Crystal Lake Memories, he pulls no punches on his feelings about Jason Goes To Hell.

"New Line left me completely alone on Jason Goes to Hell, and they were completely happy—they made a bunch of money, so they had no complaints. And what did anyone expect? It's Part IX of Friday the 13th! Did you see Part VI? Part VII? Part VIII?

 For me, it is way past an embarrassment. The body-morphing plot—it was a dismal idea. I suspected that early on, but the finished film completely proved it. I made many, many mistakes. Adam came to me and said, "The last thing the fans want is to see Jason going through Camp Crystal Lake chopping up teenagers again." Of course, it was the only thing they wanted to see, and Adam delivered this movie that was so not good.

Even though Sean did not particularly like the film, it still opened with a respectable weekend, grossing $7.7 million. For a horror movie released in 1993, that is actually pretty good and would have been the number one film that weekend if not for the late summer juggernaut The Fugitive. Variety's weekend box office story from 1993 actually used a funny play on words for it's title, utilizing the two films, and showed that even though fans may hate the concept of Jason Goes To Hell and Sean Cunningham may not have been pleased with the end result, Friday The 13th fans are loyal and will always support the franchise.

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