‘Blair,’ ‘Bride’ bewitch B.O.

Micro-budgeted horror pic goosebumps way to $28 mil

It’s even scarier than anyone expected.

Artisan’s low-budget horror pic “The Blair Witch Project” racked up a hair-raising $28.5 million estimated gross in its first weekend in wide release.

In a moderate 1,101 playdates, the film managed a record-setting $25,885 per screen average, far surpassing the previous wide-release record of $21,822 set by “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” in May. (“Menace,” which debuted in 2,970 locations, earned $64.8 million in three days.)

“It’s almost an out-of-body experience looking at these numbers,” said Artisan co-president Amir Malin.

Among most profitable ever

With $35.4 million already under its belt since its July 14 limited release, “Blair” now appears to have a good shot at grossing $100 million — roughly 91 times its reported acquisition cost of $1.1 million, and about a thousand times its estimated budget of $100,000 — making it one of the most profitable films of all time.

While exit survey results were not available, Malin said an informal poll of theater managers reported audiences were predominantly in the 18-35 age group, and split evenly in terms of gender. According to pre-release market research or “tracking,” the film was the first choice among all demographic quadrants except for older females, who preferred “Runaway Bride.”

Boffo despite competish

Pic’s numbers are particularly impressive given that “Blair” faced competition from two big-budget studio pics that also promised to deliver goosebumps: DreamWorks’ “The Haunting” and Warner Bros.’s “Deep Blue Sea.” The three scary films accounted for a projected $62.2 million in ticket sales, or roughly 40% of the box office.

“Blair,” which will add about 1,000 screens Friday, is expected to move into the No. 1 spot next weekend, despite an onslaught of new product.

More Film

  • Media Luna Picks 'The Unseen,' 'Angela'

    Ventana Sur: Media Luna Picks Up Puenzo's 'The Unseen,' Quintero's ‘Angela’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    It’s even scarier than anyone expected. Artisan’s low-budget horror pic “The Blair Witch Project” racked up a hair-raising $28.5 million estimated gross in its first weekend in wide release. In a moderate 1,101 playdates, the film managed a record-setting $25,885 per screen average, far surpassing the previous wide-release record of $21,822 set by “Star Wars: […]

  • Virtual Reality Conference Promises to Ignite

    Virtual Reality Conference Promises to Ignite Singapore Media Festival

    It’s even scarier than anyone expected. Artisan’s low-budget horror pic “The Blair Witch Project” racked up a hair-raising $28.5 million estimated gross in its first weekend in wide release. In a moderate 1,101 playdates, the film managed a record-setting $25,885 per screen average, far surpassing the previous wide-release record of $21,822 set by “Star Wars: […]

  • SGIFF: Anup Singh Readies Third Film

    Singapore: ‘Scorpions’ Director Readies Third Film With Irrfan Khan (EXCLUSIVE) 

    It’s even scarier than anyone expected. Artisan’s low-budget horror pic “The Blair Witch Project” racked up a hair-raising $28.5 million estimated gross in its first weekend in wide release. In a moderate 1,101 playdates, the film managed a record-setting $25,885 per screen average, far surpassing the previous wide-release record of $21,822 set by “Star Wars: […]

  • Canal Plus

    Canal Plus Orders Thomas Lilti's 'Hippocrate' Medical Series

    It’s even scarier than anyone expected. Artisan’s low-budget horror pic “The Blair Witch Project” racked up a hair-raising $28.5 million estimated gross in its first weekend in wide release. In a moderate 1,101 playdates, the film managed a record-setting $25,885 per screen average, far surpassing the previous wide-release record of $21,822 set by “Star Wars: […]

  • 'Call Me by Your Name' Costumes,

    Luca Guadagnino Relied on a Pair of Longtime Friends for 'Call Me by Your Name' Decor, Costumes

    It’s even scarier than anyone expected. Artisan’s low-budget horror pic “The Blair Witch Project” racked up a hair-raising $28.5 million estimated gross in its first weekend in wide release. In a moderate 1,101 playdates, the film managed a record-setting $25,885 per screen average, far surpassing the previous wide-release record of $21,822 set by “Star Wars: […]

  • A Profile of Argentine Fantasy Genre

    Mar del Plata: Argentina on the Rise -- Demián Rugna

    It’s even scarier than anyone expected. Artisan’s low-budget horror pic “The Blair Witch Project” racked up a hair-raising $28.5 million estimated gross in its first weekend in wide release. In a moderate 1,101 playdates, the film managed a record-setting $25,885 per screen average, far surpassing the previous wide-release record of $21,822 set by “Star Wars: […]

  • Coco Trailer

    'Coco' Stuffing 'Justice League' at Thanksgiving Box Office

    It’s even scarier than anyone expected. Artisan’s low-budget horror pic “The Blair Witch Project” racked up a hair-raising $28.5 million estimated gross in its first weekend in wide release. In a moderate 1,101 playdates, the film managed a record-setting $25,885 per screen average, far surpassing the previous wide-release record of $21,822 set by “Star Wars: […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content