The Bye Bye Man finished in fifth place at the box office for the weekend of January 13, 2017, taking in an estimated $13,378,000. While the placement doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, it was in fact the highest grossing new film of the weekend, beating fellow newcomers Patriot’s Day, Monster Trucks, and Sleepless. The film capitalized on a primarily female and under 25 audience to double its budget in the first three days of release.
While this is a solid opening for a horror film in January, the level of competition gets stiffer next week, and the rest of the month. M. Night Shyamalan’s horror thriller Split will be released next weekend with the same target audience in mind, greatly reducing The Bye Bye Man’s staying power at the box office. Also contributing to a potential steep decline for the film is the fact that the film earned a “C” Cinema Score and a 28% critic’s score on Rotten Tomatoes.
As predicted by Horror News Network, this trend of “one week wonders” at the box office is likely to continue due to the glut of horror films being released in January and February. Last weekend, Underworld: Blood Wars debuted at number four with a $13,688,751 opening, but slipped to $5,815,000 in its sophomore frame. Last years’s The Boy opened in a similar spot on the calendar, and actually made less on the opening weekend ($10,778,392), but the film was able to play into March, eventually earning $35,819,556 at the domestic box. It will be nearly impossible for a horror film released this winter to experience the same longevity since new films will cannibalize the screens required to insure a long run at the box office.
Stay tuned to Horror News Network for more information on the winners and losers at the box office in this surpsrisingly competitive winter season.