For a film that was bashed heavily by critics (25% on Rotten Tomatoes) yet lauded by audiences (A- from CinemaScore), Five Nights at Freddy’s took its gaming IP and delivered massively for the big screen. Universal/Blumhouse’s supernatural horror feature raked in $78 million domestically in its debut weekend and $52.5 million overseas for a mighty $130 million global opening.
It’s the 3rd biggest opening horror weekend ever, the 5th biggest October opening weekend, the 5th-largest opening for a solo female director (behind Barbie, Wonder Woman, 50 Shades of Grey, and Black Widow), and the second biggest weekend that simultaneously dropped the motions pictures at the theaters and homesteads (fun fact, Black Widow had people pay for it through Disney+, while Peacock did not for FNAF). Oh, and it’s the highest opening for a horror movie in 2023 and the largest ever for Blumhouse. Much like the Barbenheimer trend, this is spectacular news for an IP with diehard fans awaiting a film release, as the gaming series went above and beyond through spinoffs and sequels for several years.
Perhaps critic reviews don’t hold much juice when it comes to the larger picture of tantalizing prospective products in the film sphere, especially for one based on another video game adaptation (ask Mario and his buddies that stormed their way past $1 billion earlier this year). Yours indeed was interested, bad reviews or not, because of the nerve-racking game that debuted in 2014 and scared folks galore with the eerie atmosphere and subtle hints about artificial intelligence in the workplace (ah, the clues have been on the wall!). In retrospect, perhaps our review was a bit more severe, as folks seem to get a kick out of the animatronics presence and not solely consider it “just a horror film.” How leggy this feature remains to be seen, but it landed in the “zenith” of openings as Halloween drops on Tuesday, so this will be doing all fine when we enter the later holidays of the year. At this pace, passing $150 million domestically and $250 million worldwide seems like a no-brainer. Upon doing so in the latter case, it’ll pass Get Out ($255.4 million) to become Blumhouse’s highest-earning film ever.
In far other news, Taylor Swift’s The Era Tours has passed $200 million globally in its third weekend. It’s a massive hit without Mon-Weds showings, but it’s unsure if this will have enough juice to top Michael Jackson’s This Is It $252 million. Swift has already become a billionaire, so it’s a win regardless, right? Killers of the Flower Moon took a 61% dip in its second weekend, at $40.6 million domestically and $88 million globally. It’ll need all the juice it can to justify its $200 million price tag, but Apple is taking a gamble joining a market run by five titans. Good things come to those who take the initiative (regarding Hollywood’s reliance on the big-budget studios).
Newcomer After Death took in $5 million, a neat start for the documentary regarding the afterlife, with many experiences detailed, and the other newcomer, Freelance, starring John Cena and Alison Brie, took in $2.06 million from 2,057 theaters.
The Exorcist: Believer took in $3.1 million in its fourth weekend, PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie has passed its predecessor with over $150 million globally, and The Nightmare Before Christmas added another $2 million domestically.
Next weekend sees the release of Quiz Lady (on Hulu), Rustin (on Netflix), The Marsh King’s Daughter, All Dirt Roads Taste of Sand, and What Happens Later.