Ten years after director Scott Derricksonwriter C. Robert Cargill and star Ethan Hawke made horror magic together with sinisterthey’ve done it again with Blumhouse and Universal’s The Black Phone, released in theaters nationwide over the weekend. Not only has The Black Phone debuted to strong reviews, but it’s overperforming at the box office as well.
The Black Phone finished in the #4 spot on the domestic box office charts for the weekend, scaring up an impressive $23.4 million domestically and $35.8 million worldwide Thus far!
For the sake of comparison, sinister opened to $18 million domestically back in 2012, that film going on to exceed $80 million at the box office and spawning a sequel in 2015.
The Black Phone‘s $23 million opening is one of the strongest starts for a non-franchise horror movie in the last couple years, Derrickson and Hawke proving once again to be a winning combination here in the horror world. Critics are loving the movie, and with a marketing campaign that played up a Pennywise-like killer in a creepy mask, well, the film is proving to be catnip at the box office for fright fans. The masks that Hawke’s Grabber wears, by the way, were designed by Tom Savini and Jason Bakerthe icing on top of this particularly dark cake!
Another big name talent attached to this one? The Black Phone is an adaptation of a Joe Hill story, that tale featured in his 2005 collection 20th Century Ghosts, But for all intents and purposes, The Black Phone is an original horror movie regardless, scaring up strong numbers despite not being connected to a known property. And that’s always a beautiful thing to see.
Will we see a sequel to The Black Phone, Only time will tell…
Meagan wrote in her review of The Black Phone for Bloody Disgusting, “Derrickson and Cargill revive the same traits and structure of sinister to transform Hill’s short into a feature-length nightmare full of ghostly kids, violence, and a trio of unforgettable performances.”