Next month should really kick the movie season into high gear. There’s not one but three superhero releases hitting theaters during the month of April, and competing with those releases will be flicks like Penguins and Pet Sematary. Although those sound like they could be related, they should be anything but. Unlike the former Disneynature documentary, the latter is actually a (probably r-rated but currently unrated) horror film based on a Stephen King novel, and now we have some idea how it will compete with Shazam!.
The answer is, well, decently. Current estimates have Shazam! opening at $40-45 million. (Long-range tracking had that film at closer to $48 million so we’ll see.) Meanwhile Pet Sematary opens the same weekend and is expected to pull in around $20 million, but those numbers could improve all the way to $30 million domestically during opening weekend.
So, it’s not expected to win the weekend, but it does look competitive, and depending on what the budget for Pet Sematary is and how big the audience ends up being in subsequent weeks, it could do just fine in box office totals. We don’t know right now how much the Pet Sematary remake cost, but it should have been cheaper than Shazam! to produce. Back in 1989, the original cost $11.5 million to make and went on to make over $57 million domestically.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out the horror film will only have a few weeks to go before it is superseded by Avengers: Endgame, which should be a box office juggernaut. Early estimates have that movie making $282 million domestically opening weekend, which is a really specific and incredible number.
At that point, the other movies that are still in theaters from March and into April should be doing lower numbers as a lot of fans flock to the box office to for the highly anticipated Marvel film. What Pet Sematary has going for it is counter-programming, but it’s worth noting that by the end of the month, Pet Sematary will be three weekend into its run. It opens on April 5 while the Marvel flick opens on the 26th.
We should be hearing more about Pet Sematary over the next few days as the film is expected to screen at SXSW, and we’ll be able to hear how audiencegoers feel about the upcoming movie.
Trailers for the upcoming movie have been mysterious and eerie, although they have revealed the movie is taking some liberties from Stephen King's source material and will at least be changing one major plot from the book. That the non-spoilery way of mentioning that, if you want spoilers, we have you covered. All in all, there's been a wave of Stephen King properties coming out in recent years -- and even a big nod to King in Ready Player One -- and we'll have to see if Paramount's new movie stands out from the pack.
While we wait, you can see what flicks are heading into theaters in March with our full schedule.