This weekend, horror is back on the menu with Patrick Wilson‘s directorial debut, Insidious: The Red Door. While critical reception of the film was less-than-favorable, the Insidious franchise has always been critic-proof and delivered one box office success after the next while keeping their budget small. The movie already obliterated its $16 million budget with a $32.6 million opening domestically and a massive $64.1 overall tally. I find it fascinating that the discussion on social media has always amounted to dismissing horror cinema’s box office potential, and yet it should surprise no one that these movies are continuously making money. Audiences want thrills on the big screen, and the Insidious franchise has always delivered in that regard.
The other big studio film, Joy Ride, fizzled out in its opening weekend with a disappointing $5.8 million opening, despite glowing reviews. The movie premiered at the South by Southwest Festival in March before also screening at CinemaCon, which led Lionsgate to make the exact same mistake Warner Bros. did with The Flash: host a plethora of FREE word-of-mouth advance screenings to generate hype before it released. I know many film fans see movies multiple times in theatres, but the average moviegoer does not. If they see your film for free, even if they can’t stop talking about it, they’re not going to return for round two. Releasing two weeks after No Hard Feelings, another hard-R studio comedy also didn’t help, as it is still continuing to make money.
Last week, a user commented on the July 2 column, wondering why I didn’t talk about Sound of Freedom. The answer was simple: the movie wasn’t out. Sound of Freedom was released in theatres on July 4 and allegedly sold-out cinemas all across the United States. This anecdata is based on a few posts I’ve seen on social media because the film was not released in Quebec but will be on July 14. I’m curious to see how it will do in my province, but I doubt faith-based films have the same appeal as they do in the United States.
From its release on July 4, Sound of Freedom made over $18.2 million in its opening week without a traditional Hollywood studio to back it up. I expect the movie will also have massive legs, à la God’s Not Dead, another faith-based movie that exceeded all commercial expectations and spawned three sequels. Its overall gross was $40.2 million, exceeding way past its $14.5 million budget.
Here is the full list of the top ten films of the weekend:
- Insidious: The Red Door (Sony): $32.6M – 3,188 theatres
- Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Disney): $26.5M (-56.1%) – 4,600 theatres
- Sound of Freedom (Angel Studios): $18.2M – 2,852 theatres
- Elemental (Disney): $9.6M (-20.8%) – 3,440 theatres
- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony/Marvel): $8.0M (-33.4%) – 3,023 theatres
- Joy Ride (Lionsgate): $5.8M – 2,820 theatres
- No Hard Feelings (Sony): $5.2M (-33.2%) – 2,686 theatres
- Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Paramount): $5.0M (-32%) – 2,475 theatres
- The Little Mermaid (Disney): $3.5M (-35.1%) – 2,475 theatres
- Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (Universal): $2.8M (-49.1%) – 3,408 theatres
Source: Box Office Mojo