Five Nights at Freddy‘s might have gotten incredibly lousy reviews, but did that stop the gamer kids from flooding cinemas worldwide despite a simultaneous Peacock release? Nope. Even better, the film is now Blumhouse’s highest-grossing opening of all time and the second-highest-grossing video game movie of 2023, with a $78 million opening domestically and $130 million globally. And its budget was only $25 million. Incredible. Universal has two video game winners on their hands, with The Super Mario Bros. Movie being one of the highest-grossing productions of the year.
Some pundits debated whether or not the film would be profitable because its buzz before release was practically non-existent. I guess these people aren’t familiar with the Five Nights at Freddy‘s fanbase because there are millions of them in each corner of Planet Earth. Whether the film drops precipitously next week remains to be seen, but it’s an incredible start for a largely profitable year from Blumhouse, who continues to operate in the mid-budget range and outpaces expectations at every turn. As Scott Cawthon’s game spawned a franchise, don’t be surprised when Universal eventually announces a sequel for this movie.
Meanwhile, Killers of the Flower Moon experienced a brutal drop in its second weekend, grossing only $9 million. Perhaps more Awards attention could revive the movie’s prospects in theatres and on Apple TV+, but the runtime is one of the biggest reasons why the film isn’t swaying audiences, despite better reviews than Five Nights at Freddy‘s. Sure, mega-blockbusters like Avengers and Avatar can get away with an extended runtime, but it wasn’t as sure of a bet with Oppenheimer and Killers. Luckily for Christopher Nolan‘s film, the interest was partly due to the Barbenheimer memes, but Martin Scorsese‘s film didn’t get as much attention as one would’ve hoped.
As for newer releases this week, Freelance bombed at the box office, with a $2.5 million tally in 2,057 theatres. Despite a decent cast with John Cena, Alison Brie, and Christian Slater leading the film, alongside Taken filmmaker Pierre Morel at the helm, the movie was dead on arrival once it received the ultra-rare 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (which is still holding up true at the time of this writing). Of course, some will say that Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t mean much nowadays, with Five Nights at Freddy‘s hitting big despite a 24% approval rating, but there’s a difference between an established IP and a purely original story, and it hasn’t been more apparent here.
On the other hand, the faith-based movie After Death has grossed over $5.0 million at the box office and landed in the top five. It’s another win for Angel Studios, which is growing commercial momentum after the breakout success of Sound of Freedom, though the legitimacy of its ticket sales is still being debated among box office experts.
Here is the full list of the top ten films of the weekend:
- Five Nights at Freddy’s (Universal/Peacock): $78M – 3,675 theatres
- Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Variance Films): $14.7M (-56%) – 3,773 theatres
- Killers of the Flower Moon (Paramount/Apple TV+): $9.0M (-61%) – 3,632 theatres
- After Death (Angel Studios): $5.0M – 2,645 theatres
- The Exorcist: Believer (Universal): $3.1M (-46%) – 2,717 theatres
- PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie (Paramount): $2.1M (-51%) – 2,746 theatres
- Freelance (Relativity Media): $2.0M – 2,057 theatres
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney): $2.0M (-53%) – 2,185 theatres
- Saw X (Lionsgate): $1.6M (-53%) – 2,141 theatres
- The Creator (Disney): $1.0M (-63%) – 1,685 theatres
Source: Box Office Pro