In what has been a dismal season for the financial prospect of horror films, Brahms: The Boy 2 established a new low at the box office, opening with an estimated $6 million in its first weekend of release.
The often-delayed and rescheduled sequel to 2016’s The Boy earned another low number from Cinemascore pollsters with a C- average (in contract to the original, which scored a B-). Critics gave Brahms a paltry 11% on Rotten Tomatoes (and the current audience score on Rotten Tomatoes sits at 41%). The original fared relatively better, with a score of 30% on the all-powerful review site.
Beyond the critical and fan receptions, the biggest difference between the sequel and the original will ultimately turn out to be the profit margin. Back in 2016, The Boy opened with over $10 million and went on to gross $35 million in domestic ticket sales. Internationally, The Boy added an additional $38 million, bringing The Boy’s total to nearly $75 million worldwide. In contrast, Brahms will be lucky to earn $25 million worldwide, after a quick exit from theaters over the next two weeks.
Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro agrees that the narrative of low budgets isn’t enough to absolve the horror films that have performed so poorly this season, stating that Brahm’s production company “…STX is claiming that their exposure is $3M production-wise (not including P&A). I’m sorry, but whenever these thrifty priced genre movies post single digits at the domestic box office, it’s nothing to be wowed about. Really. I don’t drink the juice. Cheap movies are built to be abundant cash cows, and when they’re not, it’s pretty clear they’re duds. If what STX says is true, then smart on them for reducing their risk on a genre movie that’s been panned by critics…and dismissed by audiences.”
Speaking of which, last week’s Fantasy Island dropped a whopping 77% at the box office in its second weekend, earning an estimated $4.2 million. The horror-remake of the sleepy 70’s drama may be the second most “successful” horror film of the winter months (after Sony’s The Grudge remake which currently sits at $46 million worldwide) when the dust clears, as it currently boasts a worldwide total of over $27 million.
Next week’s Invisible Man remake (notice a trend here?) may challenge for “the best of the worst” title, but the film is already proving to be polarizing among fans of the original Universal film. If the fans familiar with the original stay home, as well as a young audience with no knowledge of Claude Raines, Universal/Blumhouse could be in for another unfortunate surprise. The box office tracking for Invisible Man is positive, with estimates ranging from a $20-$24 million opening frame, but estimates have been wildly inaccurate in the new year so far.
Check back next week to witness the fate of The Invisible Man, as the last major horror entry until the can’t miss A Quiet Place Part 2 arrives on March 20.