Success is relative, right? If you had told the creative team behind the original The Blair Witch Project that they had made $765,000 on their opening day, they would be over the moon, because the micro-budgeted horror thriller was made for a reported $60,000. Nothing but profit. However, a $765,000 opening night for Blair Witch, the sequel 17 years in the making, is a little more reserved, because the studio likely was hoping to make a bigger splash with this movie.
Opening in more than 2,3000 locations on Thursday night, Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard's Blair Witch banked an estimated $756,000, according to figures acquired by Variety. On the plus side, this opening was stronger than both Snowden and Bridget Jones's Baby, though all three movies are hoping to compete with Clint Eastwood's Sully at the box office all weekend long. But Blair Witch may also be running into a bit of horror movie fatigue, as audiences already have plunked down their hard-earned dollars on Don't Breathe, Lights Out and The Conjuring 2 all summer long, so Blair Witch might not be the best and most viable option this weekend.
The new Blair Witch movie is a natural sequel to The Blair Witch Project, a found footage pioneer about three hikers who disappear in the Maryland woods while searching for a mythical witch from the title. Now, 17 years later, the little brother of Heather -- who went missing in the original movie -- heads into the haunted forest to try and find his sister, the house from the end of the original movie, and maybe the witch.
Now we'll wait to see how the movie plays out. To give you some comparisons, Don't Breathe banked $10 million on its opening night (a Friday, not a Thursday) according to Box Office Mojo, while Lights Out made $9 million on its first night (a Friday) back in July. Those films, however, didn't have the benefit of a name brand to build on, as Blair Witch does. Even though The Blair Witch Project reached theaters 17 years ago, the movie's impact was strong enough that it became a household name, and even casual horror fans should know enough about the story to determine whether or not they want to see this over the weekend.
Our own Dirk Libbey said Blair Witch is "missing a lot of the realism that the found footage genre tries to create," but admits that while it does a number of things well, it never really becomes an outstanding horror movie. What do you think? Are you checking it out this weekend?
Movie junkie. Infatuated with comic-book films. ReelBlend cohost. Resident dad. Extroverted introvert. Wants to see the Snyder Cut. Managing Director at CinemaBlend.
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