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The Bye Bye Man Finishes Fifth at Weekend Box Office, Underworld: Blood Wars Slips

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.       read more

Underworld 5: Blood Wars Finishes Fourth at Weekend Box Office

Kicking off a very busy January and February for horror fans, Underworld 5: Blood Wars finished 4th at the weekend box office with just over $13 million dollars.

The total is the lowest opening in the history of the franchise, but not an unexpected one with stiff competition from “Space Race” drama Hidden Figures which narrowly beat Star Wars: Rogue One to finish in first place with $22,800, 057 at theaters this weekend.  In comparison, the fourth installment in the Underworld franchise (2012’s Underworld Awakening) opened with a $25 million dollar take at the box office (and slightly better reviews-if you care about a 26% positive Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score vs a 20% score for the latest entry). read more

Are January and February the New Dumping Ground for Horror Films?

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. read more

Too Much Horror Business: Box Office Winners and Losers of 2016

Although October 2016’s slate of horror films were at an all time low, this didn’t stop studios from making money at the your local cinema at other times of the year.  2016 was another profitable year for horror films, with the exception of a few high profile bombs. 

The undisputed horror box office champ was The Conjuring 2.  James Wan’s sequel to his 2013 film that showcased the further adventures of renowned ghost hunters, Ed and Loraine Warren, raked in $102.5 million domestically, and $320.2 million worldwide.  The largest foreign market happened to be Mexico, where the Conjuring 2 made $20.5 million.  Although the film was not the critical success of Wan’s first film, it appears like there is no stopping this franchise, whether Wan returns to the director’s chair or not. read more

Dr. Strange Enchants Box Office to the Tune of $85 Million

Surpassing inital industry estimates of $70 million, Dr. Strange reignited November box office receipts with an estimated $84,989 million dollar haul.

The critical and financial success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (to the envy of DC fans and Warner Brothers executives) is well established, but there is always trepidation when a new character makes the leap from a traditional four-color comic to the silver screen.  Doctor Strange, anchored by an all-star cast and lead by Benedict Cumberbatch,  proves that general audiences, hardcore fans, and critics have not had their fill of Marvel’s vast super hero universe.   read more

Doctor Strange Strong Out of the Gate with $32.6 Million on First Day of Release

Doctor Strange, Marvel’s first foray into the supernatural side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, opened with a robust $32.6 million on its first day of release. This total also includes $9.4 million in Thursday previews.  

As reported by Seth Kelly of Variety, the film’s estimated weekend “…would put “Doctor Strange” ahead of other Marvel film openings like “Thor” ($65.7 million) and “Ant-Man” ($57.2 million), but behind characters with higher name-recognition like 2008’s “Iron Man” ($98.6 million) and, of course, films that band together multiple heroes like “Marvel’s The Avengers” ($207.4 million). Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Doctor Strange” is posting numbers that most closely align with 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World” ($85.7 million). Last time this year the Bond film “Spectre” topped the box office with $70 million.” read more

Horror Films Missing from Theater Schedules this October

Historically, horror films have always staked a claim on the month of October.  In a month dominated by Halloween decorations and haunted houses, the opportunity to see a horror film at you local multiplex has always been “par for the course” for horror fans.  If you are planning on continuing this October tradition, you may find your options severly limited this year when compared to Halloweens past.

Ouija: Origin of Evil is the only major studio, wide-release horror film that will debut this October.  This is in stark contrast to the October 2015 release list.  Last October saw the release of no less than five horror-themed films including: Crimson Peak, Goosebumps, The Last Witch Hunter, Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension, and Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.  While the quality of these films varies greatly, the fact is that horror fans had a typically large selection of films to satisfy their Halloween cravings.   read more

Blair Witch Hype Does Not Translate Into Ticket Sales This Weekend

The much anticipated Blair Witch reboot delivered anemic box office numbers, as the film’s hype did not translate into ticket sales during the film’s opening weekend.  As reported by Horror News Network on Friday, director “Adam Wingard’s new Blair Witch sequel/reboot is garnering mixed reviews as the film debuts this weekend for anxious fans of the original Blair Witch Project.   The film currently sits at 38% on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes and has steadily declined throughout the week.  The film originally sat at 53% positive on Wednesday but as more reviews poured in, the film experienced a steep drop.” read more

Don’t Breathe Dominates Weekend Box Office With $26 Million Dollar Debut

New horror film Don’t Breathe shattered all studio expectations and predictions with estimates placing the film over $26 million for the weekend.

Studios predicted a conservative $11-12 million dollar debut, while prognosticators called for $15 million at the weekend box office.

Don’t Breathe ended Suicide Squad’s run as box office champ at the three week mark and looks to add to the total over the upcoming Labor Day weekend, which features no competition in the form of new, wide screen studio releases.  Don’t Breathe more than doubled Suicide Squad’s second place ranking, as DC Comics anti-hero team finished with an estimated $12 million in ticket sales. read more

Don’t Breathe Positioned to End Suicide Squad’s Box Office Run at Number One

The late summer, buzz-heavy horror film Don’t Breathe is currently tracking to defeat three week champ Suicide Squad at the box office this weekend.

According to Meriah Doty of the Wrap, Don’t Breathe (the second feature film directed by Fede Alvarez) is tracking at close to 13 million dollars, which should be enough to defeat Suicide Squad in its fourth weekend at the box office.

The film currently sits at 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and a creative advertising campaign targeting the youth market that fuels horror movie box office and the tech industry with a 10-second Snapchat video ad that allows users to access the full 90-second “Don’t Breathe” 360 degree video. read more