‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ a surprise hit at the box office

'Five Nights at Freddy's' a surprise hit at the box office

Freddy Fazbear, an evil pizzeria mascot, became a surprise box office sensation over the weekend, reinforcing a message movie audiences have been sending to Hollywood all year: Give us something new.

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” sold an estimated $78 million in tickets at theaters in the United States and Canada from Thursday night to Sunday – a total that prompted double-takes in Hollywood since the film did not play exclusively in theaters. “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” based on a popular horror-survival video game, also arrived on the Peacock streaming service on Thursday.

Box Office Numbers founder Bruce Nash said, “This is just more confirmation that moviegoers are looking for something new or, to be more precise, to see something they love in a movie theater for the first time.” Getting a chance to see.” Tracking and analytics site.

In contrast, “The Exorcist: Believer,” an attempt to revive a 50-year-old horror franchise, flopped in special release in theaters earlier this month, collecting only $26.5 million in its first three days.

Simultaneous availability in theaters and homes became common during the pandemic, but most studios – at the demand of theater owners and some filmmakers – have returned to the traditional way of releasing films (first in theaters for exclusive screenings, then for rental). for online and shopping, and then on to streaming). The worry is that people will be reluctant to buy tickets if they have the option of watching the same movie at home.

According to comScore, which compiles box office data, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” earned an additional $53 million overseas, for a global total of approximately $131 million. The PG-13 film, directed by newcomer Emma Tammy, cost Blumhouse and Universal Pictures about $20 million to make and about $50 million to market worldwide.

NBCUniversal, which owns Peacock, declined to provide viewership numbers for “Five Nights at Freddy’s”. However, the company said that the film was Peacock’s most watched content of the weekend and that it was “the biggest opening ever for a film on Peacock.”

The film focuses on a security guard at an abandoned pizzeria who is terrorized by animatronic animals “performing” for the children in the restaurant. (Think Chuck E. Cheese and 1980s showbiz pizza.) Josh Hutcherson of “Hunger Games” fame plays a security guard.

Universal and Blumhouse knew the game had avid fans, but they were unsure whether the story would appeal to a wider audience, which is why the companies also made the film available on Peacock. But the film became a cinematic event, with teenagers and young adults attending in groups. Many people came in costumes.

Universal estimated that about 80 percent of ticket buyers were ages 13 to 24. film received bad reviewsBut ticket buyers gave it an A-minus grade (exceptional for a horror film) in a CinemaScore exit poll.

Blumhouse and Universal are already talking about a sequel to “Five Nights at Freddy’s” for the second time this year for Blumhouse. The “M3Gun” was the first. Hollywood considers nothing more valuable than a new franchise. Having two in one year is almost unheard of.

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” gave Blumhouse the highest opening in its 23-year history, surpassing “Halloween,” which reached $76 million in domestic ticket sales in 2018.

Jason Blum, founder of the production company, said in an email that he is “even more pleased that Emma Tammy has the biggest opening weekend ever for a horror film directed by a woman.”

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