In October, HNN noticed that horror films were strangely missing from the October schedule which usually capitalizes on the Halloween season and the audiences need for thrills and chills. Initially, it appeared that the culprit was The Blair Witch, as studios hurried to move their films away from the expected blockbuster. The result was more “trick than treat” however, as The Blair Witch was d.o.a. at the box office making a grand total of just under 21 million dollars.
Looking at the release schedule for January and February, it appears that “the witch” may not be the only one to blame, as nine horror films will debut during the coldest and least profitable months of the year in 2017. January and February are known to Hollywood executives as “dump months” which refers to the low expectations regarding the box office success of the films and the unwillingness of people to leave their homes during the winter months. Films that are released in January and February are usually ones that did not perform well at test screenings, films without bankable stars, genre films, and films that are hard to categorize or defy traditional genre conventions.