I'm glad to have seen The Midnight Meat Train in a theater earlier this month, even if it was a run-down dollar theater. But Lionsgate certainly made it difficult for horror fans, booking the film into only about 100 locations and carefully avoiding theaters anywhere near the city centers of New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Portland, etc.
When the limited release strategy became known, Clive Barker, who wrote the story upon which Ryuhei Kitamura's film is based, expressed his support for a fan-made viral campaign to get a wider release. Now that the limited release has come and gone, he told MTV News of his displeasure toward "small-minded" Lionsgate president Joe Drake. Barker believes that Drake shortchanged MMT to avoid competition with The Strangers, on which Drake had a producing credit. "You don't have to sh-- on somebody else's work to advance your own material," Barker said.
Barker feels that Kitamura made "a beautifully stylish, scary movie." He's convinced that "people will find it, and whether they find it in midnight shows or they find it on DVD, they'll find it, and in the end the Joe Drakes of the world will disappear."
In his review from Comic-Con, Scott Weinberg opined that The Midnight Meat Train would be a tough sell on 1,200 screens because it's such a dark, "horror fans only" experience. On the other hand, the apparently inferior Mirrors (as per William Goss' review) opened on 2,664 screens and made $11 million in its opening weekend. But Lionsgate took that decision out of (most of) our hands. The DVD should be out Real Soon Now.