Scream Looks To Scare Up Franchise-Best $35-40 Million Box Office Debut

Cinema is already off to a rocky start in 2022, with omicron raging and some people beginning to lock down once again. Sony already delayed "Morbius," and "The 355" looks to bomb this weekend. January is usually not great for the movie business, but this year's edition is looking especially dire. But it's not all bad, as it turns out. Case in point: The new "Scream" (which is for some reason not titled "Scream 5") is hitting theaters next weekend, and it looks to make a killing, despite the circumstances.

As reported by IndieWire, "Scream," directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett ("Ready or Not"), is eyeing a $35 to $40 million debut over the long weekend at the domestic box office. Should this hold true, that would potentially make for a franchise-best opening. "Scream 3" currently holds the series record as it debuted to $34.7 million over the course of a standard Friday to Sunday stretch back in 2000. The new movie does have an advantage, coming out during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, which will include Monday. If it comes in at the top end of projections (or exceeds them), it could still top "Scream 3" even without counting the Monday holiday. If it doesn't beat it, even getting close, given the difficult circumstances this movie is facing, would be impressive.

While full reviews haven't been posted yet, the early buzz on the new flick is quite good, with many praising it as a movie that would do franchise creator and horror master Wes Craven proud. That buzz could help push this number even higher, similar to what we saw happen with "Spider-Man: No Way Home," only on a smaller scale.

The Power of Horror and Nostalgia

As we've seen time and time again as movie theaters have tried to rebound during the pandemic, superhero movies and horror are the two things that seem downright bulletproof. "Scream" also has the benefit of being a legacy sequel with much of the original cast returning, as was the case with 2018's record-breaking "Halloween." Plus, unlike superhero movies, horror movies generally have the advantage of costing significantly less money to produce, meaning they don't have to make nearly as much money to be successful. In this case, while budget figures have not been made available for the new installment, I've seen estimates suggesting it cost somewhere between $30 and $50 million.

For some context, the previous four "Scream" movies have earned $603 million at the box office with combined budgets of $119 million. That's good business. If we assume the new movie cost around $40 million, it will be a hit if it can make $100 million worldwide. $40 million on opening weekend would put it squarely on that path.

The movie stars Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell.

"Scream" is set to hit theaters on January 14, 2022.