×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Suspiria’ Plans Big Expansion After Roaring Start

Suspiria” bewitched the indie box office, nabbing the best screen average of the year.

Luca Guadagnino’s arthouse remake of “Suspiria” summoned $179,806, an especially impressive haul considering the horror film opened in just two locations. That averages out to a massive $89,903 per venue. “Suspiria” played at Regal Union Square in New York and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles, where Guadagnino appeared at Q&A’s after Friday night’s screenings.

Amazon Studios will test audiences’ appetite for artsy gore as it rolls the film out in 250 locations next weekend, a number of which will be Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. The studio plans to expand to more cities in its third outing. That kind of release plan does show some confidence given the gruesome material and heavily German dialogue. Variety reporters said even the footage teased at CinemaCon dared the crowd not to vomit.

“It’s really out there, and we want to make sure that the word continues,” Bob Berney, Amazon Studios’ head of marketing and distribution, said.

Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton star in the supernatural thriller, based on the 1977 Italian film directed by Dario Argento. It follows a young American dancer who enrolls in a prestigious and mysterious dance academy. Since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, “Suspiria” has garnered mixed reviews. Variety’s chief film critic Owen Gleiberman said “it remakes Dario Argento’s flamboyant nuthouse horror movie into an art film about dance and witches in divided Berlin that’s so self-serious it forgets to scare you.” The L.A. Times’ Justin Chang, however, noted that it is “all shivery body-horror bliss.”

The MPAA gave “Suspiria” an R rating for “disturbing content involving ritualistic violence, bloody images and graphic nudity, and for some language including sexual references.”

Amazon helped stoke interest with a cheeky social media campaign, which included coded messages, witty observations and links to the film’s music by Thom Yorke.

“It’s been critical,” Berney said of the film’s social media presence. “It created suspense and controversy. We’ve had a lot of fun with everybody really wanting to know how far is this film going to go.”

Prior to “Suspiria,” the best screen average of the year belonged to “Free Solo,” National Geographic’s exhilarating documentary about the first free solo rock climb of Yosemite’s El Capitan. It picked up $300,804 when it debuted this weekend on four screens, translating to $75,201 per location.

Other notable screen averages this year include Bo Burnham’s coming-of-age drama “Eighth Grade” with $63,071 per venue and Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animation “Isle of Dogs” with $60,011 per screen.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Love You Forever

    'Love You Forever' Heads for Valentine's Day Release

    Hong Kong’s Edko Films has set a February 2020 release for upcoming romantic drama “Love You Forever.” The film is directed by Yao Tingting, who previously made another nostalgic romance “Yesterday Once More,” which went on to enjoy a $27 million global success in 2016. Edko’s Bill Kong is named as producer. The new film [...]

  • The Irishman

    Film News Roundup: 'The Irishman' Wins Capri Film Festival Screenplay Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Steven Zaillian’s script for “The Irishman” wins an award, MGM hires a trio of marketing execs, MTV Documentary Films sets three new projects; and “The Caretaker of Lorne Field” is becoming a movie. AWARDS Steven Zaillian’s screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will receive the best original screenplay award at [...]

  • Saturday Fiction

    'Saturday Fiction' Yanked From China's Golden Rooster Film Festival on Eve of Debut

    Just a day before its scheduled China debut, director Lou Ye’s latest film, “Saturday Fiction,” has been pulled from its slot as the opener of the mainland’s Golden Rooster Film Festival because of unspecified “internal production problems,” according to Chinese film website Mtime. Speculation has been spreading online that it will also be yanked from [...]

  • DeVon Franklin

    DeVon Franklin Signs First-Look Deal at Paramount Pictures

    DeVon Franklin has signed a first-look producing deal at Paramount Pictures. Under his Franklin Entertainment banner, Franklin previously produced inspirational and faith-based films, including this year’s “Breakthrough,” starring Chrissy Metz, as well as “Miracles From Heaven,” with Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah, and the animated film “The Star,” toplined by Zachary Levi, Gina Rodriguez, Oprah [...]

  • Harriet Movie BTS

    'Harriet' Costume Designer Paul Tazewell on How He Crafted Harriet Tubman's Look

    For many, Harriet Tubman’s journey is one we’re taught about in school. We know she’s a heroine, an abolitionist who led slaves to their freedom via the underground railroad. Unless you’ve read the books by Kate Clifford Larson or Beverly Lowry, “We didn’t receive the whole story,” says costume designer Paul Tazewell. Until now. Kasi [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets HR and Inclusion Chiefs

    ViacomCBS has named corporate heads of HR and inclusion as the companies prepare for the merger that is set to close early next month. The soon-to-combine Viacom and CBS have tapped Nielsen alum Nancy Phillips to serve as exec VP and chief people officer. Viacom alum Marva Smalls will serve as global head of inclusion, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content