‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ surprises with $78 million domestic debut at the box office

‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ hits an unprecedented $78 Million Domestic Debut
Credit: Universal Pictures

Over Halloween weekend, Universal and Blumhouse’s newly released supernatural horror film, Five Nights at Freddy’s,” which is based on the video game franchise of the same name created by Scott Cawthon, has made a mark on the box office by slaying all the expectations made by critics and the audience as it unexpectedly debuted with a skyrocketing opening of $78 million domestically.

Even though the film received negative reviews from critics, it was successful at the box office as it was made on a $20 million budget, setting several box office records for Blumhouse.

With a jaw-dropping domestic debut, it was also able to make a staggering impact on the global box office by collecting $130 million! All thanks to the simultaneous release of Peacock this week on October 26, 2023, as it was theatrically released a day later, on October 27, by Universal Pictures. This move helped establish the movie as a cultural phenomenon, and this thrilling experience has captivated cinemagoers worldwide.

It has definitely revived the love of watching supernatural horror features on the occasion of Halloween in the theaters with friends! 

The Emma Tammi-directed film stars Josh Hutcherson as a troubled security guard who accepts a night-time job at an abandoned family entertainment center, where he discovers its four animatronic mascots come alive and are prone to murder. In addition to Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Matthew Lillard also appear in supporting roles.

“The IP is ridiculously popular, and Blumhouse and our director Emma Tammi did an amazing job of translating that to the big screen,” says Universal’s president of domestic distribution, Jim Orr. “The genre lends itself to people wanting to experience it together.” Whereas, Blumhouse founder Jason Blum wrote on X, “It’s so fun when it works. Thank you all so much for being patient with us on [“Five Nights at Freddy’s]. We wanted to get it just right for the fans.”

Further adding, “And it’s official. Biggest Blumhouse opening movie of all time.”

In addition to this, Universal Domestic Distribution Boss Jim Orr, “Blumhouse, and director Emma Tammi successfully delivered a terrifying, exceptionally gratifying cinematic experience that remains faithful to Scott Cawthon’s incredibly popular video game. The phenomenal domestic and global opening weekend of Five Nights At Freddy’s serves as yet another example of our ability to capture the cultural zeitgeist.”

Many reports have also indicated that it’s the second-best opening weekend for a day-and-date streaming release. 

Trailing behind Disney’s 2021 Marvel adventure “Black Widow” ($80 million in theaters and $60 million on Disney+), and the best ever for Universal and Peacock’s hybrid releases, surpassing the slasher sequels “Halloween Kills” ($49 million) and “Halloween Ends” ($40 million). On the Peacock side, the studio exclaims that Freddy’s had the biggest opening for the OTT service, and it’s the most-watched and most subscription-driving content title since it dropped on Thursday night.

Looking at the future collection or streaming numbers, according to some estimates, Peacock’s release date might have taken roughly 10% off Freddy’s box office potential, resulting in a significant dip next weekend. On the other hand, Universal has stunned itself with its expectations. As they always believed it was a niche piece, which is why it was shown on Peacock. Despite any predictions for Freddy’s slide next weekend, a staggering 42% stated they’d rather see the movie in theaters than at home.

At last, Cawthon has said that if the first film were to be successful, there could be a second and third film following the events of the second and third games, respectively. In January 2023, in an interview on the podcast WeeklyMTG, Lillard revealed he signed a three-picture deal with the studios.

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