Horror may rule for a third straight week as MGM’s Jeepers Creepers 2 arrives in theaters today to challenge New Line’s Freddy Vs. Jason for the top spot at the North American box office. Writer/director Victor Salva’s follow-up to his 2001 surprise hit features visual effects by The Orphanage, under the direction of EFX supervisor Jonathan Rothbart.
The Creepers franchise revolves around “The Creeper” (Jonathan Beck), a carnivorous, ancient, winged demon who eats people to regenerate his own body parts. This time he returns to snack on a bus full of basketball players, coaches and cheerleaders. Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, The Battle of Shaker Heights), newcomer Travis Shiffner and Billy Aaron Brown (TV’s 8 Simple Rules) star, with Justin Long (TV’s Ed) reprising his role from the first film in a dream sequence or two.
The film is produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s production shingle, American Zoetrope, in association with Myriad Pictures. Coppola is credited as one of four exec. producers. With the famous director’s name attached, the first Creepers broke box office records for a Labor Day weekend release. Hoping for a repeat, MGM is releasing the sequel in more theaters than any other film this weekend and backing it with an aggressive marketing campaign. Aside from fellow gore grandmasters Freddy and Jason, the only competition comes from Sony’s four-week-old S.W.A.T. and Disney holdovers Open Range and Freaky Friday.