IFC’s horror movie “The Wretched” passed the $1 million mark after a month of drive-in movie theater buzz.
The indie film took in $162,000 at 95 sites over the weekend. After premiering at the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival, it launched on May 1 at just 11 drive-ins, including the Mission Tiki in Montclair, Calif., where it had an informal premiere.
Written and directed by Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce, “The Wretched” follows a young boy who discovers an evil witch in the nearby woods. The cast includes John-Paul Howard, Piper Curda, Zarah Mahler, Azie Tesfai and Jamison Jones.
“Anyone who at this point disputes or discounts the power of the big screen experience need only look at the stellar ongoing drive-in performance of IFC’s ‘The Wretched,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
Meanwhile, Quiver’s thriller “Becky” was at the top of the small but growing U.S. box office with $178,186 at 42 locations.
The film stars Lulu Wilson as a 13-year-old rebel who is brought to a weekend getaway at a lake house by her father, played by Joel McHale, in an effort to try to reconnect. The trip immediately takes a turn for the worse when they encounter group of convicts on the run, led by a merciless man portrayed by Kevin James. Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion directed the film from a script by Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye and Lane Skye.
A total of 554 of the nation’s 5,400 movie locations are open, including 243 drive-ins, according to Comscore. Quiver and IFC are the only distributors reporting grosses this weekend as moviegoing slowly comes back to life amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Later this summer, Solstice Studios is opening Russell Crowe thriller “Unhinged” on July 1 with plans to launch on a nationwide basis. Fathom Events and Screen Media have unveiled plans to open war thriller “The Outpost” at 500 locations on July 2.
Most theaters are not expected to open until mid-summer, and no other major releases are set to launch until July 17, when Warner Bros. has said it will open Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.” However, with shelter-in-place guidelines possibly still effective, it’s unclear whether “Tenet” will be able to maintain that date.