Nonetheless, considering that Sam Raimi was a barely-known filmmaker when he directed the first three movies on the cheap, the 'Evil Dead' films have had a surprisingly long and influential afterlife. The 1981 film launched the careers of Raimi (who became known as the director of the blockbuster "Spider-Man" trilogy that starred Tobey Maguire), character actor Bruce Campbell, and longtime Raimi producer Rob Tapert (all three men have a production credit on the 2013 film, though it was directed and co-written by newcomer Fede Alvarez), as well as future Oscar-winning director Joel Coen, who served as an assistant editor on the original "Evil Dead." Moreover, its innovative camera work and special effects influenced a generation of directors.
By the time of the remake, 30 years of horror filmmakers and fans had grown up with those innovations, and with cabin-in-the-woods chillers. So an audience was primed to return to the source -- or visit it for the first time.
Here's an index of figures, many of them from Box Office Mojo, tracing how the franchise grew from micro-budgeted fringe fare to mainstream blockbuster status.
Budget of the original 1981 "Evil Dead": $350,000
Budget of the new "Evil Dead": $17 million
Lifetime gross (domestic) of the 1981 "Evil Dead": $2.4 million
Lifetime gross (domestic) of the "Evil Dead" trilogy: $19.8 million
Opening weekend estimated gross (domestic) of the 2013 "Evil Dead": $26 million
Opening weekend estimated gross (foreign) of the 2013 "Evil Dead": $4.5 million
Largest previous gross (domestic) of an "Evil Dead" movie: $11.5 million ("Army of Darkness")
Largest previous opening weekend (domestic) of an "Evil Dead" movie: $4.4 million ("Army of Darkness")
Gross (domestic) of the "Evil Dead" trilogy, adjusted for inflation: $40.7 million
Number of then-current TV regulars appearing in the 1981 "Evil Dead": 0
Number of current TV regulars in the 2013 "Evil Dead": 2 (Jane Levy of "Suburgatory," Jessica Lucas of "Cult")
Gross to date (domestic) of Sam Raimi's other current movie, "Oz the Great and Powerful": $212.8 million
Number of screenwriters on the 1981 "Evil Dead": 1 (Sam Raimi)
Number of screenwriters on the 2013 remake: 3 (Fede Alvarez, Diablo Cody, and Rodo Sayagues)
Number of projects (movies, TV episodes) on which Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell have collaborated: 86
Widest previous release (domestic) for an "Evil Dead" film: 1,391 screens ("Army of Darkness")
Current release (domestic) of "Evil Dead": 3,025 screens
Gallons of fake blood in the original "Evil Dead": 200 to 300
Gallons of fake blood in the remake: More than 50,000