Do you like scary movies? The rest of the box office does.
“Scream VI,” a Paramount and Spyglass co-production, looks to spook off “Creed III” for the top slot at the domestic box office. The self-branded slasher “requel” grossed $19.3 million from 3,675 locations on its opening day, a figure that includes $5.7 million in previews. That’s more than enough to fend off the weekend’s other new releases, Sony’s science-fiction dinosaur thriller “65” and Focus Features’ sports comedy “Champions.”
“Scream VI” is already a few steps ahead of its 2022 predecessor, which landed a $13 million opening day. In fact, the “Scream” series is proving to be bigger than ever. Should projections hold, the sixth entry will score a franchise record opening weekend of $43.5 million, a good deal higher than the $32 million that “Scream 2” earned in its 1997 bow.
After last year’s entry grossed $137 million worldwide against a measured $24 million production budget, execs were quick to hit the gas on a follow-up, turning a sequel around in only 14 months. It’s a quick timeline that keeps with series tradition — “Scream 2” followed the original 1996 “Scream” after an even shorter window, totaling less than a year. Compared to the 2022 entry, “Scream VI” carries a slightly higher production price tag, reported at $35 million.
“Scream VI” sees a new murderous Ghostface setting their sights on New York City, where former Woodsboro victims, played by Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Courteney Cox, have relocated. Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin returned to direct this entry after helming last year’s revamp, along with writers Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt.
The horror film has received fairly positive reviews, currently holding a 62% approval rating from top critics on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences have also been fans, with the film scoring a “B+” grade through research firm Cinema Score. That’s a solidly positive rating, especially for a horror movie — a genre that typically trends more negatively.
In his review, Variety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman praised the movie as a “gory homicidal shell game that’s clever in all the right ways, staged and shot more forcefully than the previous film, eager to take advantage of its more sprawling but enclosed cosmopolitan setting.”
Columbia Pictures’ “65,” a sci-fi thriller that finds a space explorer played by Adam Driver stranded on a prehistoric Earth, is looking to hit a third place finish in its opening. After earning $4.4 million on Friday, “65” projects an opening weekend of $10.7 million, which would be a tick above estimates heading into the weekend.
Bron and TSG co-financed “65” with Sony; the film carries a production budget of $45 million. With largely negative reviews and an unenthused “C+” grade on Cinema Score, longterm domestic prospects aren’t the brightest for “65.”
Focus Features’ “Champions” is projecting a $4.7 million opening from 3,030 locations, which would place the film in seventh place. Directed by comedy maestro Bobby Farrelly, the film follows a disgraced coach (Woody Harrelson) who takes the reins leading a basketball team competing for a spot at the Special Olympics. While “Champions” hasn’t scored with critics, the comedy earned a glowing “A” grade from Cinema Score, indicating strong approval among ticket buyers.
While Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s “Creed III” will settle for second place, the film’s box office fortunes haven’t subsided. The boxing drama, which marks star Michael B. Jordan’s feature directorial debut, is projecting a $26.7 million sophomore outing, a 54% slide from its opening numbers. That would push its total domestic gross beyond $100 million. It’s a solid result for the entry in the “Rocky” spinoff series, which carries a reported $75 million production budget.
Fourth place looks to go to Disney’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” The Marvel entry earned $1.7 million Friday, down 46% from its figures last week. Now in its fourth weekend of release, “Quantumania” looks to inch closer to surpassing the $200 million mark at the domestic box office over the coming days. Whether the film will be able to match the $216 million North American gross of its 2018 predecessor remains up in the air.
Universal’s “Cocaine Bear” looks to round out the top five on domestic charts. The film is projecting a 43% tumble from its sophomore outing, pushing its domestic gross to a solid $51 million through Sunday.