Smile has since grabbed the best box office for a second weekend horror movie Out. The project is the directorial debut of Parker Finn, who expanded it from his own 2020 short film Laura didn’t sleep. The film stars Sosie Bacon – the daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick – alongside a cast that includes Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Kal Penn and Rob Morgan.
Smile opened on Sept 30. The film follows an ER therapist (Bacon) whose chance encounter with a traumatic event causes her to experience bizarre hallucinations involving laughing people. The film combines elements from other classic films such as The ring and It follows to create a new entry in the transferable curse subgenre.
Per Deadline, this weekend’s box office results are in, and they’re quite unexpected. There were two new big-release movies in theaters this weekend: the Shawn Mendes family musical Lyle, Lyle, Crocodileand the David O. Russell ensemble piece Amsterdam – but those movies made it to #2 and #3 respectively, beaten by Smile, which took in $17.6 million in its second weekend. This is only a 22% drop from its opening weekend of $22 million, an astonishingly low dip for a new release horror film that Smile the best second week for a horror movie since Jordan Peele’s hit Out in 2017.
How horror helps save the bleak cash register of 2022
The box office in 2022, with the first full batch of new releases since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a notoriously up-and-down affair. The year opened with the continuation of Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s record-breaking run and marked by strong profits for many franchise projects, including: Top Gun: Maverick, which was released on May 27 and has brought in $1.48 billion to date, becoming the fifth highest-grossing domestic film of all time. Other than those phenomenal successes, the box office in general has entered a period of continued slowdown, particularly in September, when there was a lack of new films with wide release that allowed for Top Gun to climb back to No. 1 on the Labor Day weekend.
The only exception to this rule seems to be horror, which has been shown particularly strongly throughout the year. Starting with the success of Paramount’s slasher sequel scream in January, the genre has topped the weekend charts 6 times so far this year, largely with original titles like no, The invitation, Barbarianand Smile. Coming weekend release of David Gordon Green’s trilogy capper Halloween ends will also more or less certainly dominate the weekend, proving that the genre – which can be produced cheaply with little to no star power and can still be a draw if it has a strong hook, as several of these films have proven – may well be the key to resuscitating the cash register after an extremely troubling year.
Next: Smile’s Best Twist Is Secretly Borrowed From Stephen King