Horror movies walk so blockbusters can run. And now another one, Insidious: The Red Door, furthers that platitude.
Currently at $182M globally, The Red Door has become the most successful horror movie of 2023, dethroning this year’s other living doll, M3GAN (over $179M globally) from the horror movie top spot. [Note: M3GAN is listed as a 2022 release on Box Office Mojo, even though it was released widely in January 2023]
Horror Movies Saving Cinema Once Again
It wasn’t that long ago that people were holed up in their homes trying to figure out how or when the world would recover from the pandemic. The entertainment industry was flatlining and taking the brunt of the damage were movie theaters. But The Invisible Man (2020) changed all of that because it was turbo-released to digital home media weeks after its theatrical run. Because it was so successful (taking in over $70M) it gave way to at-home cinematic A-list entertainment.
Fast forward six months to August of 2020 and Unhinged, starring Russell Crowe got big screen bookings, perhaps to test the waters of a cautiously re-emerging public and it pulled in $20M. Keep in mind it was one of the first major theatrical releases post-pandemic: people were still afraid to cough in public.
That brings us to 2023 where people have thrown away most of their face masks, started standing next to each other again, CVS has plenty of hand sanitizer, and people are asking themselves: Should I see that movie in the theater, or wait till it hits streaming?
You can thank horror movies for that option because they have been the litmus test for a changing personalized movie-going experience. And it’s been successful. Even Insidious: The Red Door ghost-dropped its digital release just weeks after the movie opened in theaters and now it sits at number six on the Apple digital rental chart. The “cinema-to-couch” formula is saving movies and we can thank the horror genre for that.
If you don’t think so consider that Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One completely disappeared amid BarbenHeimer, but genre movies such as Insidious: The Red Door, and Meg 2 have managed to swim among them.