The pandemic has not been kind to movie theaters, but recent releases are working to change the narrative. Blockbuster sequels like Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home raked in millions of dollars, proving that moviegoers are still willing to head to their local cinema for a worthy film. So how did the latest Scream movie make out on opening night? Considering the circumstances, pretty darn good.
Previews of the latest installment in the Scream franchise were held in about 3,000 theaters on Thursday night. According to Deadline, Scream raked in $3.5 million from those initial screenings alone. The outlet claims that’s a fairly decent number for an R-rated horror film, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Halloween Kills, another recently-released high-profile horror sequel, made about $4.8 million on preview night, but Scream’s profits seem to be on par with past Martin Luther King Jr. weekend releases.
Post-preview night, Scream is tentatively on track to make over $20 million in its opening weekend. Considering that the film’s budget was a mere $24 million, those are some good odds for Paramount Pictures. Reboots and sequels may be a dime a dozen nowadays, but they’re relatively reliable box office draws. That’s an even bigger advantage during a pandemic, when audiences are more likely to stay in and stream a new film at home rather than make the trek to a movie theater.
Another point in Scream’s favor? Audiences seem to be loving the first Scream film since the death of creator Wes Craven. It currently holds a critic approval rating of 77% and an audience approval rating of a whopping 90%, the highest for a Scream movie since Scream 2. Scream 3 and Scream 4 were decidedly not well-received, making it more likely that a solid installment will draw fans to theaters in the hope of reigniting their love for the horror franchise. It’s also been over 10 years since a Scream movie hit theaters, ensuring that audiences are ready for another round of scares.
Viewers are also excited to see the return of many popular Scream characters, such as Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers and David Arquette’s Dewey Riley. The cast is rounded out with a gaggle of new faces, including Melissa Barrera (In The Heights), Jack Quaid (The Boys), Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why) and Jasmin Savoy Brown (Yellowjackets). Melissa Barrera’s character, Sam Carpenter, is seemingly set up to follow in Sidney’s footsteps and become the so-called final girl, but anything is possible when it comes to Scream.
Scream is now playing in theaters everywhere. You can catch up with the original 1996 film on Peacock and Amazon Prime Video.