After a series of major critical and commercial flops, legendary horror director M Night Shyamalan is making what Blumhouse can only hope is a return to form with The Visit, which was made in secret and cost just $5M to produce. This is the latest Blumhouse horror for 2015, after The Lazarus Effect, The Gift, The Gallows, Insidious: Chapter 3, and Sinister 2. Later this year they also have Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. Clearly, they’ve found their niche and are milking every ounce out of it they can. What’s interesting about The Visit is its bold approach in marketing it as a new thriller from Shyamalan, while his more recent films shied away from his involvement all together. Clearly they have some confidence in it. Second is its seemingly intentional comedic elements rather than just being played as a straight horror film. While perhaps not a straight up horror comedy, there are elements in it that seem more goofy (such as the heavily marketed “Would you mind getting inside the oven to clean it?”) and online buzz has been building since the trailer released back in April. Between that and social media attention growing recently, as well as a lack of competition, The Visit could easily be set for over $15M this weekend. The film will also be aided by its PG-13 rating, whereas most of the horror films from this summer have been rated R. Its premise seems to be going for a much younger audience, and the fact that they won’t need a parent to get in will easily help its performance.
Also opening is thriller The Perfect Guy and Christian(sen) film 90 Minutes in Heaven, based on the book of the same name. The Perfect Guy will be playing in over 2,000 theaters, but 90 Minutes does not yet have a theater count. However, its showing in one theater near me for 2 shows a day, and that tells you just how much attention its getting. It chose a bad time to be released, as well. War Room is still doing great business and is catering to the exact same audience. Families that saw War Room just this past week probably won’t be rushing out to see another very similar film a week later. The trailer seems to show just about everything, from the accident to his recovery to being back in church. Don’t expect Heaven to take in more than $3M or so this weekend. However, I said something similar about War Room and look how that turned out. I’ve been wrong before.
The Perfect Guy opens exactly one year after No Good Deed, another low budget thriller with an all black cast. With its low budget and hard-to-market premise, The Perfect Guy probably won’t have a great debut. No Good Deed managed to take in a surprising $24M opening weekend, though its home-invasion thriller is much more accessible than stalker-thriller, though The Gift had a similar concept and surprised back in August. The similarities are certainly there, right down to the strikethrough logo. It seeems as though it may make for a solid date movie, but expect it to be very front loaded and fall quickly.
- The Visit – $17.5M
- The Perfect Guy – $15.5M
- War Room – $7.5M
- Straight Outta Compton – $6.2M
- A Walk in the Woods – $5.8M
?. 90 Minutes in Heaven – $2.9M
The Bottom Line
The Visit has solid marketing, decent reviews and an appealingly creepy premise, as well as the now infamous Shyamalan name attatched to it. Because of all of the interest surrounding it, between fans of Shyamalan seeing it wanting another atrocity like The Happening (I would fall under this category) to fans who simply want to see Shyamalan back in his element, The Visit would be in great shape at $15M. The Perfect Guy needs at least $10M to get a pass, and 90 Minutes in Heaven needs at least $5M.