by Shant Yegparian (@shantyegparian)
Don’t Breathe, one of the newest horror flicks to hit screens, has racked in over $75 million in the U.S. box office alone. When it first came out, Don’t Breathe held the number one spot in the box office for two consecutive weeks, beating out its competitor, Suicide Squad, and almost doubling the film in sales. And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen horror films dominating at the box office.
Audiences and Critics Love Horror Movies
This summer we saw big budget blockbuster flops such as The BFG, which had a budget of $140 million and only took in $55 million in the U.S. Then there was The Legend of Tarzan which cost $180 million and only brought in $127 million domestically. And you probably forgot, but yes, there was another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake which cost $135 million and brought in $82 million in the states.
Don’t Breathe had a budget of $10 million, and it’s only a matter of time before the film grosses well over $100 million.
Due to the hardcore and loyal fans of the genre, producers and executives alike can expect to get more people in seats checking out their latest scary flick. In addition, as we’re seeing less tickets sold in theaters throughout America and more eyeballs on Video on Demand platforms such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix, horror again is getting more viewership on those platforms compared to other genres.
Why? The younger audiences are thrill seekers and are looking for cool suspense stories to keep them up a night. It’s also always fun to see who among your friends will get scared first.
Studios Won’t Stop Making Big Budget Movies, But They Won’t Hire You to Write Them
Another blockbuster film that came out, Warcraft, only made $47 million domestically. With a budget of $160 million, you would think that this was a flop, but the film grossed $386 million in the foreign market. Even though The Legend of Tarzan and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles both flopped in the states, they turned the studios a profit overseas.
As you see, it’s all about numbers, and these blockbuster flops actually bring a higher return to investors than most horror movies, so studios aren’t going to stop making them. But studios don’t turn to novice writers for their big studio fair. When they’re looking for a low-budget horror, they do.
This past weekend, The Blair Witch remake came out and will again bring in a great return for everyone involved. There will always be a market for horror movies, and the horror route is a more realistic approach to a filmmaker or screenwriter looking to get their break in the industry. Some of the greatest filmmakers of all time got their start in horror. Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Sam Raimi, and the list goes on.
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Shant Yegparian is a multi-optioned, award-winning screenwriter, and published author. Shant is the founder and host of genresummit.com, an online event that showcases how top genre filmmakers and writers perform at the highest level.