EXCLUSIVE: “We may have a big hit on our hands,” beamed one person close to the production of Universal/Blumhouse’s feature take of videogame Five Nights at Freddy‘s today. And while the movie, which hits theatrical-day-and-date today on screens at 2PM and on Peacock at 6PM is projected to do around $50M, there are some crazy projections out there between $55M to $90M. Everybody calm down, and let’s permit this brilliant branded IP for millennials in the oasis of the swamps of an actors’ strike play out.
Tonight, box office sources tell us that Thursday previews are racking up north of $7M but warn “are very frontloaded.” Universal did not respond to request for comment on our projections, so as always asterisk them. While this is solely a picture made for the under 25 crowd, behold other previews that clocked similar amounts, i.e.: Ant-Man ($6.4M previews, $57.2M opening), Aladdin ($7M, $91.5M bow), F9 ($7.1M, $70M) and Twilight ($7.5M, $69.6M). But wait, we should comp this to other Universal/Peacock day-and-dates, right? Well, Freddy’s fries the comps of Halloween Kills ($4.85M previews, $49.4M) and Halloween Ends ($5.4M previews, $40M opening).
Critics panned the Emma Tammi directed movie at 25% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, but those who are going don’t give a sh** how the reviews read. Last night at a very passionate Burbank, CA AMC preview I attended, fans were so over the moon, it reminded me of the time I first saw Twilight with a crazed crowd at what’s now the AMC Grove. Fans were cheering on the YouTube influencer cameos (peeps who are known for playing and theorizing about Five Nights at Freddy’s games) in the film, as well as “oohhh”ing and “aaah”ing at plot twists, and character appearances, and even the fan-made end credits song by music artist The Living Tombstone. If you weren’t dressed up last night, well then you were square. Get a lode of the get-ups above and below.
Wait, don’t many want to stay at home and watch this? Maybe, and we’ll assess the ding of Peacock on the box office later this weekend, but what’s extremely clear here is that the under 25 bunch want to see this movie together, and not in everyday clothing.
Freddy‘s is booked in around 3,500 locations this weekend including Imax and PLFs. Apple Original Films and Paramount’s Killers of the Flower Moon is expected to do around $12M, while the AMC-distributed Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is to continue crooning to around $13M. More details tomorrow AM.
CinemaScore was polling when we went last night; it will be interesting to see how this one comes in.