The Black Phone Just Landed An Impressive Thursday Night Milestone For 2022 Horror

Ethan Hawke in mask in The Black Phone
(Image credit: Blumhouse)

Movie theaters are starting to look a little more normal than they have been in the pandemic era, with larger crowds showing up for exciting upcoming movies. While Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion had pretty easy weekends in their reigns, it’s about to get very competitive at your local multiplex. Case in point: last night saw some impressive showings for a Thursday night, with Blumhouse’s latest The Black Phone nabbing an impressive milestone for this year in horror. 

Mason Thames looks suspiciously at something in the dark basement in The Black Phone.

(Image credit: Universal/Blumhouse)

The Black Phone Is Now The Second Highest Thursday Opening For 2022 Horror

Early receipts are being released through various outlets like Deadline, and the picture is pretty bright for director Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill. Adapted from the short story by author Joe Hill, their Universal release is the second highest Thursday night opening in the genre, sitting just slightly behind Scream’s $3.5 million debut earlier this year. The Black Phone's critical reviews are pretty spectacular too, as at the time of this writing the movie has a pretty high consensus of positive reactions.

The team behind Sinister and Doctor Strange are probably celebrating this fact right about now, as The Black Phone is on a promising track for a healthy weekend. It’s a good sign, as comparing the film to other offerings on display at a theater near you, every little bit is about to help. Especially when Maverick is still flying around, with some very promising rumors about another kill shot in his sights.

Austin Butler playing guitar in Elvis and Tom Cruise pumping his fist in Top Gun: Maverick, pictured side by side.

(Image credit: Warner Bros / Paramount)

Elvis And Top Gun: Maverick Are Still In The Game For A Very Competitive Weekend

Also debuting in a big Thursday night showing was Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic, which left the building last night with $3.5 million. Austin Butler and Tom Hanks’ polarizing movie has seen a slew of critical reactions running the gamut from unfavorable to absolutely in love. It’s pretty much the expected course for a Luhrmann movie to run, and that sort of energy might protect The King’s story from falling to Top Gun: Maverick’s supposed rise.

Box Office Mojo saw the Tom Cruise legacy-quel reach the top of the daily box office again this week, and estimates seem to thing that Maverick will retake the overall top slot again. It doesn’t hurt that Lightyear’s surprising opening weekend seems to have Disney/Pixar’s spinoff moving out of the way. 

Plus, after hyping up the fans through a social media campaign, IMAX is bringing Top Gun 2 back to the premium format, cutting into Chris Evans’ large format toy story. That sort of result could carry Tom Cruise into that rarified air of '80s blockbusters that could achieve such feats, and hold onto the crown for multiple weeks at a time. 

The first two weekends in July are going to prove even more interesting, as Minions: The Rise of Gru and Thor: Love and Thunder are the only major debuts headed our way, and in that order. Sequel-friendly punctuation and franchise fatigue are all on the board for discussion, and the battlefield is only going to get more intense. 

Though if you’re pulling for The Black Phone in this time of cinematic fisticuffs, here’s something to consider: the estimated budget was $16 million, and its opening weekend is estimated to land between $15 - $20 million. Profitability, as always, seems to be in reach with Blumhouse; though we won’t know for sure, as that budget only covers production costs. 

The Black Phone is currently showing in theaters, if you’re not afraid to indulge in a fun but dark time. If that’s not enough to satisfy your cravings for all things spooky, then the rundown of upcoming horror movies will help you seek out your next cinematic prey.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.