If you keep up with the box office and film industry the way I do, you know it has been mostly crickets since the outbreak brought everything to a halt.
But, if you’ve looked at the finer details, it shows how important the horror genre has been. Whether it be the modest performing at drive-in theaters or the successes of Come Play (review) and Freaky (review), our genre did a lot to keep people entertained at a time when real life horrors were occurring.
Not only that, but Kong vs. Godzilla (review) jumpstarted the theater industry with numbers we had not seen since pre-Covid. The film landed just shy of 440 million, but was also deemed the most successful film on HBO Max‘s streaming service at the time of release.
A couple weeks ago, Spiral: From the Book of Saw (review) came to theaters. It was a bold move from Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures, and one that’s difficult to make a statement on. The box office is not what it once was, and it’ll take a lot for it to heal. At the same time, it will take bold moves from studios and movies to do that. Currently, Spiral stands at 27.4 million total from a budget of a budget of 20 million.
That’s not great, but there’re asterisks that need addressed.
Domestically, Spiral will likely end up in the mid-20 million rage (crossing the 30 million worldwide threshold). Comparatively, Jigsaw posted a similar decline from Saw: The Final Chapter, making 38 million Stateside compared to The Final Chapter’s 45 million.
One thing that’ll be key for Spiral is the international return which was responsible for 63% of Jigsaw’s 100 million total. Thus far, details are scarce on what kind of worldwide rollout Spiral will receive, if any.
Something else to keep in-mind is synergy and long-term performance. According to The Numbers, Jigsaw made 7 million domestically off Blu-Ray and DVD sales, and that does not include digital purchases or streaming rights that came afterward. Synergy is important because the likelihood that consumers will purchase other movies in the series, boxsets, etc., and that’ll trickle down into the bottom line.
Spiral was a costlier film than Jigsaw (double the budget), but still relatively small given all the variables at play. If you’re Lionsgate, on one-hand, you might be disappointed your film which had Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock was not able to “rebirth” the franchise, so to speak. On the other hand, given the circumstances, you might take it as a mulligan and continue business as usual.
Of course, the real topic at the box office is A Quiet Place Part II.
The film has been released to critical acclaim and has become an absolute hit at the box office. The Krasinski directed sequel was no doubt a large investment from Paramount, who has struggled a lot over the years, and you have to think they’re happy with the results. Currently, A Quiet Place Part II sits at 79 million worldwide from a budget of 61 million and it should cross 100 million by Monday, if not a lot sooner than that. The real question will be exactly how high the film can reach before the smoke settles.
We’re in very different times and it’s hard to predict. On one-hand, sequels (especially horror sequels) tend to be a lot more front-loaded, but, at the same time, pent-up demand might allow the film to climb high.
Next week sees the theatrical release of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, a film I’m also very excited about. However, that film will release on HBO Max in unison, which will likely be to its own theatrical detriment (and to Quiet Place’s gain). I’m very curious to see how all of it will unfold.
Either way, it’s a very busy time to be a horror fan, which I’m grateful for, given the table scraps we settled for the year prior.