You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Horror films surpass expectations

Modest tracking for 'Mama,' 'Texas Chainsaw 3D' fools analysts

It seems the idea of forecasting boffo B.O. for horror films has frightened studios lately.

Universal’s “Mama,” which bowed over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earned $32.1 million in four days; a few weeks earlier, Universal chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” scored in the high teens in its opening frame. Both considerably overperformed their projections.

While managing box office expectations is always a prime motive for studios, the early modest tracking for both horror films had almost every pundit fooled. In the case of “Mama,” however, the film’s PG-13 rating — the only one among the weekend’s wide-release films — was an asset, especially among distaff teens.

“There hasn’t been a PG-13 film targeted at young girls in a long time,” says Universal domestic distribution prexy Nikki Rocco.

“Mama” also drew a slightly larger-than-expected male turnout, 39%, which likely had a negative effect on the holiday’s other wide entries, Fox’s “Broken City” and Lionsgate’s “The Last Stand.” Still, “Mama” scored the majority of its coin from women under 25.

January is the usual home-away-from-home for horror films outside the early-October corridor leading up to Halloween. The genre tends to do well at the beginning of each new year after the glut of sophisticated year-end awards fodder.

That said, the overperformances of “Texas Chainsaw” and “Mama” has been a product of a generally robust market lately: Every weekend so far this year has outpaced its comparable 2012 frame.

More Film

  • 12th and Clairmount Movie Review

    Film Review: '12th and Clairmount'

    It seems the idea of forecasting boffo B.O. for horror films has frightened studios lately. Universal’s “Mama,” which bowed over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earned $32.1 million in four days; a few weeks earlier, Universal chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” scored in the high teens in its opening frame. Both considerably overperformed their projections. While […]

  • Sam Rockwell

    Film News Roundup: Palm Springs Festival Honors Sam Rockwell for 'Three Billboards'

    It seems the idea of forecasting boffo B.O. for horror films has frightened studios lately. Universal’s “Mama,” which bowed over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earned $32.1 million in four days; a few weeks earlier, Universal chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” scored in the high teens in its opening frame. Both considerably overperformed their projections. While […]

  • Project Runway

    Weinstein Co. Feeling Pressure to Find a Buyer (EXCLUSIVE)

    It seems the idea of forecasting boffo B.O. for horror films has frightened studios lately. Universal’s “Mama,” which bowed over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earned $32.1 million in four days; a few weeks earlier, Universal chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” scored in the high teens in its opening frame. Both considerably overperformed their projections. While […]

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day review

    'Terminator' Writing Team Adds Billy Ray to Put Final Polish on Script

    It seems the idea of forecasting boffo B.O. for horror films has frightened studios lately. Universal’s “Mama,” which bowed over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earned $32.1 million in four days; a few weeks earlier, Universal chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” scored in the high teens in its opening frame. Both considerably overperformed their projections. While […]

  • Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva Starring in

    Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva Starring in Thriller 'Inherit the Viper'

    It seems the idea of forecasting boffo B.O. for horror films has frightened studios lately. Universal’s “Mama,” which bowed over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earned $32.1 million in four days; a few weeks earlier, Universal chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” scored in the high teens in its opening frame. Both considerably overperformed their projections. While […]

  • Mahershala Ali Burn

    Mahershala Ali to Star in, Executive Produce Crime Thriller 'Burn'

    It seems the idea of forecasting boffo B.O. for horror films has frightened studios lately. Universal’s “Mama,” which bowed over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earned $32.1 million in four days; a few weeks earlier, Universal chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” scored in the high teens in its opening frame. Both considerably overperformed their projections. While […]

  • Hermes holiday window

    Le Gentil Garcon Brings Classic Hollywood to Hermes for the Holidays

    It seems the idea of forecasting boffo B.O. for horror films has frightened studios lately. Universal’s “Mama,” which bowed over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earned $32.1 million in four days; a few weeks earlier, Universal chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” scored in the high teens in its opening frame. Both considerably overperformed their projections. While […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content