Five Nights at Freddy’s scared away fears of day-and-date releases

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The Future. Five Nights at Freddy’s is a major success story at the box office and on streaming, buoyed by the rabid fanbase of the game’s franchise. While the strategy won’t work (and hasn’t worked) for every movie, FNAF may prove to be the blueprint for how to eventize a movie with a simultaneous release… and inspire other studios to experiment with fresher, younger-skewing IP.

All-screen success
Five Nights at Freddy’s is a pinball machine of broken records after only two weeks of release.

  • As of yesterday, the $20 million Blumhouse film racked up $219 million worldwide — making it the biggest horror film of the year so far.
  • More impressively, the movie has made over $100 million of that in the US and Canada alone, where the movie was available in theaters and on Peacock.
  • Speaking of Peacock, Universal didn’t give specific metrics but touted the movie as the biggest debut on the service to date… which drove more signups for the streamer.

Universal knew the mostly-teenage fans would be both open to seeing the scary movie with a crowd and okay checking it out at home if they couldn’t make it to theaters. So, the studio marketed both releases hard, especially on social media — maximizing the potential of each type of release, instead of cannibalizing it.

But, some analysts say the cannibalization did occur in its second week, noting how ticket sales dropped drastically domestically but were less pronounced internationally (where Peacock isn’t available).

Essentially, some are calling FNAF’s day-and-date success a flash in the pan. But, boy, did it burn bright… and that’s good enough.


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