Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions has teamed up with Universal to shake up the box office once again.
After having two of the biggest box office hits of early 2017 with M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” Blumhouse has resurfaced from the fog of the summer movie season with another box office hit, “Happy Death Day.”
Mixing the company’s patented low-budget scary movie model with the classic plot of “Groundhog Day,” the movie dominated the competition, which included Warner Bros.’s big-budget “Blade Runner 2049,” to win the domestic weekend box office with an estimated $US26.5 million, according to Variety.
The unique $US4.8 million-budgeted scary movie, which follows a college student as she constantly relives the day of her murder until she can figure out the person behind it, was perfectly placed in the release schedule as the movie had little competition among other new releases this weekend and capitalised on the poor opening of the $US150-million “Blade Runner 2049” had last weekend.
“2049” took in $US15.1 million over the weekend on more than 4,000 screens (“Happy Death Day” was released on 3,149), which cements its future as being a high-priced cult classic like the original, as the movie hasn’t even made $US100 million domestically yet (at $US60 million). But the weekend also showed once again that outside of some blue-chip IPs, most audiences want to spend their money on non-sequels these days.
Blumhouse proved that earlier this year as it surprised Hollywood with monster earners. “Split,” made for $US9 million and opening with $US40 million domestically in January, went on to earn $US278.3 million worldwide. A month later, “Get Out,” made for $US4.5 million and opening with $US33.3 million, earned $US253.1 million worldwide.
We’ll keep an eye on “Happy Death Day” to see if it continues to build steam as we get closer to Halloween (the next major release is Marvel/Disney’s “Thor: Ragnarok” on November 2), but it’s getting to a point now where other studios and distributors will think twice before going up against a Blumhouse release.
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