Expect a lot more horror games to be turned into movies after Five Nights At Freddy’s makes $130.6 million worldwide.
It has been nearly 10 years since the first Five Nights At Freddy’s game launched and while the franchise has persisted with multiple games, books, and an awful lot of comics, you’d have thought the inevitable movie adaptation would have arrived a lot sooner.
Plans for a movie do go back as far as 2015, with the project going through multiple delays, multiple directors, script issues, and even a change in distributor, from Warner Bros. to Universal Pictures – the same company behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
In fact, the Five Nights At Freddy’s movie is following almost exactly the same trajectory as Mario’s cinematic adventure. Despite failing to impress critics (only 26% on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences have lapped it up and Five Nights At Freddy’s already stands as one of the most successful horror movies and live action video game adaptations ever made.
The film debuted in US cinemas on October 27 and, according to Deadline, accrued $78 million (roughly £64 million) in its opening weekend. Worldwide, it made $130.6 million (just under £108 million), which is nearly seven times more than its meagre budget of $20 million (roughly £16.5 million).
Although Super Mario Bros. had a slightly higher opening weekend, Five Nights At Freddy’s had a bigger day one opening in the US, while also being the best opening weekend of any *horror* movie this year, beating Scream 6’s record of $44.4 million,
It’s extra impressive considering the movie also debuted on the Peacock streaming service at the exact same time and is said to have been the service’s biggest ever premier.
Perhaps most impressive is that, despite the critical reviews, the game received an A- Cinemascore rating from audiences, which is extremely high. BoxOfficeReport.com also notes that 94% of the weekend’s US audience was under the age of 35, which makes it very clear who exactly was watching and enjoying the film.
Long story short, for all its development woes, the Five Nights At Freddy’s movie is an unambiguous hit, which not only means a sequel or two are likely on the cards but that other movie and game studios will want to ape its success.
The film’s success with teenagers, and the PG rating, are likely to be companies’ main take away from the movie’s success, as they all scramble to find other properties that will appeal to the same demographic.
A Fortnite movie was already being discussed in 2021, within Epic Games, but we can believe those plans are being fast-tracked in the wake of both Five Nights At Freddy’s and the Mario movie. Especially as Fortnite is apparently not making the kind of money it used to.
Film studios meanwhile will likely begin hunting for other child friendly pseudo-horror games, with Bendy And The Ink Machine and Poppy Playtime likely to be in their sights – despite most adult gamers probably never having heard of them.
Although The Last Of Us has been hugely successful on TV so far all the most successful video game adaptations at the cinema have been child friendly, with Sonic The Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros., and now Five Nights At Freddy’s.
It’s probably only their acquisition that has stopped Activision Blizzard from announcing a Crash Bandicoot and Spyro The Dragon cinematic universe, the moment Mario was a hit, but that now seems all but inevitable.
After a very rough 2023, Disney must surely be looking again at the idea of a Kingdom Hearts movie too, especially as Square Enix has also had a bad run of luck recently.
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