×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘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

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

  • Crown Vic

    Thomas Jane's Police Thriller 'Crown Vic' Sells to Screen Media (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has bought North American rights to writer-director Joel Souza’s police crime-thriller “Crown Vic,” starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank. The distributor closed terms during the Cannes Film Festival amid a competitive bidding situation between seven other suitors. Screen Media plans to release the pic this fall. “Crown Vic” premiered in April at the [...]

  • Colleen Bell

    Colleen Bell Replaces Amy Lemisch as California Film Commission Director

    Veteran entertainment executive and ambassador Colleen Bell will replace Amy Lemisch as director of the California Film Commission. Bell, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, has worked as a consultant since 2017. She was the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at Bell-Phillip Television Productions, including [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content