The first weekend of 2018 will see one new wide release in North America with Universal’s “Insidious: The Last Key” challenging potent holdovers “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”
The fourth film in the “Insidious” franchise is the studio’s latest collaboration with Blumhouse Productions, which delivered a trio of low-cost horror hits last year with “Split,” “Get Out,” and “Happy Death Day.” “Insidious: The Last Key” will launch on Friday at about 3,000 domestic locations with tracking indicating an opening in the $15 million to $18 million range, with younger audiences — particularly women — showing the strongest interest in the film.
That’s likely to place “The Last Key” in third behind the fourth weekend of Disney’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and the third weekend of Sony’s “Jumanji,” which will probably be battling for first with around $28 million to $30 million each. “The Last Jedi” has grossed $531.5 million domestically in its first 18 days while “Jumanji” has totaled $185 million in 13 days. Fox’s third weekend of “The Greatest Showman” will likely come in fourth with around $11 million, followed by Universal’s third weekend of “Pitch Perfect 3.”
Additionally, STXfilms is expanding its Jessica Chastain poker drama “Molly’s Game” on Friday from its current 271 sites to 1,608 locations amid prospects for a $6 million to $8 million weekend. The film, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, has grossed a respectable $6.5 million in its first nine days. Reviews have been positive with an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. STXfilms bought the U.S. and Chinese rights to the project, produced by Mark Gordon, for $9 million.
The “Insidious” franchise dates back to 2010 with “Insidious,” followed by “Insidious: Chapter 2” in 2013 and “Insidious: Chapter 3” in 2015. The three films have grossed a combined $357 million worldwide.
The first two movies starred Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as a couple whose son mysteriously enters a comatose state and becomes a vessel for ghosts. The third pic was a prequel to the haunting of the family in the first two films, and centered on a girl possessed by a demon.
Lin Shaye, who has been in all three films, returns in “Insidious: The Last Key” as a parapsychologist whose haunted childhood comes to threaten her family and home. It follows the events in “Insidious: Chapter 3.”
The film is directed by Adam Robitel from a script by co-creator Leigh Whannell, who also wrote the first three movies and directed “Insidious: Chapter 3.” It’s produced by “Insidious” regulars Jason Blum, Oren Peli, and co-creator James Wan.
Shaye is joined in the cast by Angus Sampson, Whannell, Josh Stewart, Caitlin Gerard, Kirk Acevedo, Javier Botet, Bruce Davison, Spencer Locke, Tessa Ferrer, Ava Kolker, and Marcus Henderson. Sony Pictures is distributing the film internationally.