The box office bore witness to a spectacle as Universal/Blumhouse’s ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ made a grand entrance with a $78M opening, making waves in the Peacock theatrical day and date model. This remarkable feat stands only $4.4M short of the earlier buzz created by ‘Oppenheimer’ with its $82.4M summer opening.
A New High for Peacock and Blumhouse
The digits are still dancing as some industry trackers are hinting at a possible $80M finish. This robust performance, although not completely unexpected given the hefty presales, sets a new milestone for the Peacock streaming service. Emma Tammi, the captain of the ship, sailed ‘Freddy’s’ to the biggest opening ever for an Over The Top (OTT) service on Peacock, making it the most-watched and most subscription-driving content since its Thursday night release.
The Swing Factor
The day-and-date release model, where a film is released in theaters and on a streaming service on the same day, played its part in stirring the waters. It brought back memories of ‘Halloween Ends’ which, despite projections of $50M+, settled at a less impressive $40M due to the Peacock day-and-date model. The ‘Freddy’s’ saga brought in a fresh twist to the tale with a promising $25M presales, indicating a $100M opening had it not been for the absence of Imax and the Peacock streaming factor which, according to sources, left $5M-$10M on the table.
Riding the Tidal Wave of Fandom
The undeterred fandom of the ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ video game emerged as the dark horse, accounting for a significant chunk of the audience. The 13-24 age bracket, making up 81% of the audience, showcased their loyalty to the game, reinforcing the cinema halls despite the home-viewing option. In contrast, the relatively low penetration of Peacock (28M homes) acted as a shield, preventing a potential dent in the box office revenue, something a giant like Netflix might not have pulled off without causing a stir among the exhibitors.
Revised Records and a Bright Horizon
This theatrical odyssey didn’t just stop at breaking the day-and-date mold. With a worldwide collection of $130.6M, ‘Freddy’s’ now reigns as the highest horror worldwide bow of the year, surpassing ‘Nun II’ ($88.1M) and setting a new record for Blumhouse. On the home turf, it earned the title of the biggest opening weekend for a horror flick this year, leaving behind ‘Scream VI’ ($44.4M). Not to mention, it’s now the second-biggest opening ever for a video game adaptation, standing tall between ‘Super Mario Bros’ ($146.3M) and ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ ($72M).
This cinematic venture has surely etched a mark, being the biggest Blumhouse opening ever and setting new benchmarks for a Halloween weekend movie. The trail of records it left behind is a testimony to the captivating experience crafted by Blumhouse and director Emma Tammi, staying true to Scott Cawthon’s widely adored video game.
What’s Next in the Box Office Saga?
The thunderous debut of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ has not only set a new narrative for day-and-date releases but also sparked discussions on the future strategy for Universal. While the revenue could have hit the roof with a traditional release, the spike in Peacock subscriptions presents a silver lining, opening avenues for a fresh strategy in film releases amidst the evolving digital landscape.
As we revel in the success of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’, don’t forget to hop over to HitPlay to delve into curated collections of movies and TV shows that await to sweep you off your feet.