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Trivia / The Frighteners

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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $26 million. Box office, $16,759,216 (domestic), $29,359,216 (worldwide).
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: The Japanese dub features film actor/newscaster/narrator Ichirōta Miyakawa voicing Frank Bannister.
  • Divorced Installment: The film was originally going to be a Tales from the Crypt movie, but when the producers thought it had potential as its own story, it was reworked into one without any connection to that series.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The film was originally intended to open close to Halloween, but Universal insisted on opening on July 19, 1996 (against Peter Jackson's wishes) as they didn't have anything opening that month. The choice of date (less than three weeks after Independence Day opened, combined with the Atlanta Summer Olympics starting that day) was considered by Jackson the main reason why the film flopped at the box office.
    • Some good Executive Meddling came out of this movie. Peter Jackson making this movie for only $26 million (with the incredible effects done at his company Weta Digital) were what convinced studio heads that a large-scale production of Lord of the Rings could be done without an exorbitant budget.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The movie was originally going to be a Tales from the Crypt feature, but the producers thought the script was strong enough to stand on its own.
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    • A whole character, the Gatekeeper, was deleted from the movie. He was supposed to be a 6-foot cherub and function as a sidekick to R. Lee Ermey's Hiles, but all remnants of him was removed completely from the movie when it was realized that his character, besides being superfluous, didn't really make a lick of sense within the universe of the movie.
    • There were a few different ideas for the Grim Reaper's special effects. They considered doing things like using a puppet or putting a person in a cloak and filming them at a different speed, but couldn't get a satisfying result, so they just went with CGI. The CGI does help to make the Reaper seem much more alien and frightening.
    • Robert Zemeckis was originally going to direct the film, but after he was impressed with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh's first draft of the screenplay, Zemeckis decided to have Jackson direct it.


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