Pennywise returned, killing all of the competition. Thankfully, international box office numbers have begun trickling in for two that desperately needed to be propped up.
Directed by Radio Silence, Fox Searchlight’s horror-comedy Ready or Not starring Samara Weaving, had a severe awareness issue heading into its first weekend, not to mention opening after the majority of children had returned school. Still, the critically acclaimed R-rated “Disney” film managed to find an audience with a $10.57M opening, slightly higher than early projections.
Budgeted at a reported $6M, the film only needed $20-25M to recoup its small investment. We expected the domestic gross to land right in the middle of the targeted zone, with everything overseas being icing on the cake. This would prove to be the case. Not only has Ready or Not become profitable here in the States, but it’s added another $10 internationally, making it a (quiet) hit for Fox Searchlight.
Ready or Not, which is from V/H/S and Southbound filmmakers Radio Silence, follows a young bride (Weaving) as she joins her new husband’s (Mark O’Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival.
The board has been set up for sequels, could Fox turn this into a home video franchise?!
After almost being released directly to VOD/DVD in 2016, 47 Meters Down was thrown into the water in the middle of the summer of 2017. It opened to $11M and swam its way to an incredible $44M. This was a huge hit for the relatively unknown Entertainment Studios, who quickly promoted plans for a sequel.
Instead of attempting to recreate their perfect storm, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged was instead released at the tail end of summer – when kids are already back in school and everyone has pretty much packed up their beach gear. It took a toll on the film’s box office opening, which was just $9M, an underperformance given how hot horror and sharks are at the moment. As I noted previously, with double the budget as the first, the $12.5M isn’t going to be easy to recoup, unless the sequel finds a way to swim into the $35-$40M domestic range. While it has taken a few weeks, Uncaged has managed several million more as it swims its way to $30M globally. There is a world in which this is considered a moderate success for Entertainment Studios.
While Bloody Disgusting’s William Bibbiani wasn’t a huge fan of 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, I found it to be a thrilling underwater nightmare with more than a handful of jump-out-of-your-seat scares. In fact, it felt just like a slasher movie (Director Johannes Roberts said it’s “almost like a John Carpenter movie,” adding that the film boasted “Michael Myers sharks.“)
“The film tells the story of four teens diving in a ruined underwater city, who quickly find themselves in a watery hell as their adventure turns to horror when they learn they are not alone in the submerged caves. As they swim deeper into the claustrophobic labyrinth of caves they enter the territory of the deadliest shark species in the ocean.”