LOS ANGELES – It turns out that the old monsters can perform new tricks: After stumbling with “The Mummy” in 2017, Universal Pictures changed strategy and managed over the weekend to restart “The Invisible Man”, which was # 1 in movie theaters in the United United and Canada.
“The Invisible Man”, an HG Wells horror concept that first aired on movie screens 87 years ago, sold $ 29 million in tickets, according to Comscore, which compiles data from the box office. The R-rated film, directed and written by Leigh Whannell (“Saw”), finds Elisabeth Moss struggling with a violent husband who terrorizes her after having probably faked her death. It cost $ 8 million.
Blumhouse, the Horror Factory affiliated with Universal behind the hit series “The Purge”, “Insidious” and “Paranormal Activity”, produced “The Invisible Man”, which received very good reviews (for the genre of ‘horror) of criticism. According to Rotten Tomatoes, about 90% of the reviews were positive. The size of the budget was important: the low costs allowed Blumhouse to take risks with the classic equipment, which analysts said helped the film break through. “The Invisible Man” grossed an additional $ 20.2 million in 47 foreign markets over the weekend, according to Universal.
“This is a solid opening, well above Blumhouse’s average when launching a series,” said David A. Gross, who runs Franchise Entertainment Research, in an email on Sunday. He estimated that national ticket sales for “The Invisible Man” could easily exceed $ 80 million.
Many rolled over the reception of the film. Horror has been one of Hollywood’s most trusted genres for the past decade, as streaming services have made adult comedies and dramas more difficult. But the public seems to be picky about their fears, recently pushing back “Black Christmas ”(Universal-Blumhouse),“ Doctor Sleep ”(Warner Bros.) and“ The Turning ”(Universal-Amblin).
Universal absolutely needed “The Invisible Man” to be successful – if only to prove to its owner, Comcast, that he had a new plan to get his classic monsters back to work. Elizabeth Banks is working on an independent film “Invisible Woman” for the studio. Universal also has projects in works related to Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Creature of the Black Lagoon and Wolf Man, among others.
And Hollywood was monitoring the participation of “The Invisible Man” to see if the Americans began to avoid the theaters when fears rose about the spread of the coronavirus. It did not appear.
In second place at the weekend box office, “Sonic the Hedgehog” (Paramount) raised approximately $ 16 million, for a national total of $ 128.3 million over three weeks ($ 266 million worldwide ). “The Call of the Wild” (Disney) finished third with ticket sales of approximately $ 13.2 million in North America, for a total of $ 46 million over two weeks ($ 79.3 million in the world).