Indie Horror Movie 'The Wretched' Is Breaking Box Office Records

IFC Films is winning at the box office. To be fair, there aren't many other movies out there to compete with, but IFC's indie horror flick The Wretched is cleaning up, remaining at the top of the charts for the fifth weekend in a row. This is an achievement that hasn't happened since 2018's Black Panther, and the fact that a small horror flick is following in the footsteps of a Marvel blockbuster is kind of a big deal.

The Wretched

While many movies are sitting things out right now, IFC has been able to make serious headway at the box office. Thanks to showings at drive-ins, IFC's The Wretched has remained at the top of the box office charts, hauling in $660,000 to date. That may not seem like a huge number, but for a low-budget movie, it's a big deal. As Variety adds, "in any other time, it would rank among the studio's biggest earners of the year. And IFC films have been available to rent at home the whole time — going against conventional wisdom that streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus will keep audiences on their couches."

"We pivoted the marketing in cool retro drive-in ads. That was a fun way to get the word out," said Arianna Bocco, the executive VP of acquisitions and production at IFC Films. "A lot of it has been through organic word of mouth because it affects the people who live there...It's really unprecedented that an indie horror film [like The Wreched] could do that kind of gross solely from drive-ins. It would have taken a long time in hardtop theaters. It's really kept going and strengthening. We were able to expand [the theater count], which we didn't expect."

Jeff Bock, box office analyst at Exhibitor Relation, added:

"There's a window of opportunity for success, and IFC is taking that risk and innovating. A studio like Warner Bros. can't take chances like that because they'd lose money, even if drive-ins were packed. There's not much expected for a film like The Wretched. If it gets to $1 million, it's like another studio getting to $100 million."

In The Wretched, "Following his parents' separation, a rebellious teenage boy, Ben, is sent to live with his father for the summer and work at the local marina in order to gain some form of discipline. The idyllic tourist town offers little solace for him, however, as he is forced to deal with the local, privileged teens and his father's new girlfriend. Ben's problems grow increasingly disturbing when he makes a chilling discovery about the family renting the house next door. A malevolent spirit from the woods has taken a hold of the parents and starts playing a sinister game of house, preying upon the children and wiping away any trace of their existence. Ben's suspicions of the supernatural horrors go unheeded and he launches a perilous crusade in order to put an end to the skin-walking witch's reign of terror."

I have yet to check this out, but I've heard nothing but good things. If you don't have a drive-thru playing The Wretched near you, you can rent The Wretched on VOD.