“Happy Death Day” picked up $1 million on Thursday night as the low-budget horror film tries to unseat “Blade Runner 2049” from its perch atop the box office.
The pic is a bloody spin on “Groundhog Day.” It follows a college student (Jessica Rothe) who must relive her murder over and over again until she discovers who is responsible for her death. “Happy Death Day” is projected to open to $15 million to $20 million. Universal backed the low-budget film, with Jason Blum’s Blumhouse producing the picture.
“Happy Death Day” caps a tremendous year for Blumhouse. In January, the company’s “Split” launched to $40 million, before ending its run with $278.3 million globally. A month later, “Get Out” delivered a $33.4 million debut, going on to pick up $253.1 million in global grosses. The reviews for “Get Out” were so superlative that it’s now expected to be a factor in the Oscar race.
In addition to the “Blade Runner” sequel, “Happy Death Day” will have to contend with STXfilms’ “The Foreigner.” The action-thriller stars Jackie Chan as an ex-military operative who is hunting down the people responsible for his daughter’s death. Pierce Brosnan co-stars in the movie. It should launch to $10 million after earning $775,000 in Thursday previews.
“Blade Runner 2049” was embraced by critics and opened in first place last weekend, but is shaping up to be a commercial disappointment. The film has earned $92.5 million worldwide since debuting this month — a respectable result save for its massive $150 million budget.