Box Office: ‘Scream’ Dethroning ‘Spider-Man’ in Opening Weekend

Do you like scary movies? North American audiences still do, even as most other theatrical releases continue to struggle amid a pandemic. “Scream” is the latest horror film to make a sizable impression at the domestic box office, with an opening weekend that should finally dethrone “Spider-Man: No Way Home” after the Marvel entry’s four-week reign in the top slot.

Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media’s “Scream,” the fifth installment in the horror franchise and the first in over a decade, grossed $13.35 million on Friday from 3,664 locations. The studio projects that the horror film should rake in a solid $36 million over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, more than enough to land at No. 1 for the weekend. What’s more, the thrifty “requel” only cost $25 million to produce, a number that the release should easily rocket past before the weekend is out. Not too shabby for a January release unleashed on the moviegoing public amid a colossal spike of COVID-19 and its more transmissible omicron variant. “Scream” is evidence that audiences will still roll out for the right theatrical release during the pandemic, especially if the target demographic is younger viewers.

Should Paramount’s projections pan out, the $36 million haul for “Scream” would compare favorably to other recent hit horror sequels at the domestic box office, including the $49.4 million debut for Universal’s “Halloween Kills” and the $47.5 million opening for Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II.” The opening is also a marked improvement for the “Scream” franchise, as 2011’s “Scream 4” opened to a softer $19.3 million, ultimately landing at a $38.2 million final gross.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett direct “Scream,” taking over the series from its founder Wes Craven, who helmed the four first entries before dying in 2015.  The film stars series regulars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette as they are once again haunted by a serial killer in a Ghostface mask. The killing spree extends to a group of high school students in the town of Woodsboro, Calif. Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid and Dylan Minnette also star in the slasher.

The reboot has earned fairly positive reviews, with Leak Herald‘s Owen Gleiberman writing: “Is it fun? Mostly, yes. Surprising? It keeps faking you out about who the killer is, and playing that guessing game is part of the film’s suspense, but it’s a suspense based on the fact that the film can stay one step ahead of us in a totally arbitrary way.” The film holds a 75% critical aggregate on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences assigned a “B+” CinemaScore rating, indicating overall approval from general ticketgoers.

Meanwhile, Columbia Pictures’ “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is still going strong, weeks after its supermassive debut. The MCU entry took in $5.15 million on Friday, heading for the box office’s runner-up slot with a $26.75 million holiday weekend total. That puts the Tom Holland vehicle on track to surpass a $700 million domestic cume before Monday — about as successful as a North American theatrical release can be, for all intents and purposes. After this weekend, “No Way Home” will only stand behind “Avatar” ($760 million), “Avengers: Endgame” ($858 million) and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($936 million) in the record books of domestic box office totals.

More to come..