NEW YORK - When Paramount Pictures' "Zodiac" opened at $13.4 million, the David Fincher pic seemed to behave like many of the helmer's previous, edgy efforts.
Statistically, "Zodiac" was the helmer's second-lowest opening. Even so, it didn't open much below "Seven," his 1995 serial killer film that wound up passing $100 million.
Two weeks in, the numbers suggest that "Zodiac" won't be on the "Seven" track.
By the end of its second weekend, "Zodiac" earned $23.5 million. In the same time period, word of mouth edged "Seven" up to $30.8 million.
Like many of Fincher's films, "Zodiac" has received strong reviews.
However, this year's movie fans don't seem to care. "Ghost Rider" and "Wild Hogs" were critically skewered and the studios didn't notice; they're still counting the money.
Perhaps the best shot for "Zodiac" lies abroad. Auds overseas stick with directors more closely and might not mind the pic's long running time or what some see as an unsatisfyingly murky ending.
The bad news for Paramount is that Warner Bros., currently handling "300," has Fincher's foreign rights.