This horror movie is too good to be released on streaming and not in theaters. Hollywood’s new secret weapon begins to show signs of weakness

In Hollywood they are always on the lookout for new ways to sell their movies to get the public to go to the movies. One of his last secret weapons with horror is to play with the fact that They have been so well received during the test passes that we have had no choice but to release them in theaters instead of streaming, which was originally planned. The problem is that the surprise effect in the case of horror movies is already wearing off.

From ‘Smile’ to ‘The Boogeyman’

It all started when Paramount gave a surprise last year with ‘Smile’, since it was a modest production -it cost 17 million dollars- designed to be launched directly on Paramount +. However, it was so well received by the public in the test passes that it was finally released in theaters this past September. And it swept away It is true that it was accompanied by an elaborate promotional campaign, but That does not mean that it ended up earning 217 million dollars during its time in theaters.

There are those who exalted the film directed by Parker Finn and others were not so impressed, but the general aftertaste it left behind was very positive, since there are not so many horror movies that get 80% positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. There may be one of the keys, since it is not so common for a horror film to have such positive evaluations and this perhaps encouraged the public more, although it is fair to emphasize that the reason for this change was not so much emphasized until once already. premiered.

Barely a few months passed until Warner used a similar strategy with ‘Infernal Possession: The Awakening’, a new installment of the franchise created by Sam Raimi that was born destined to be seen exclusively on HBO Max. There it is true that other factors come into play such as the decision of the study to postpone indefinitely ‘Salem’s Lot’which was the film that was going to be released in theaters this past April, but again the good reception in the test screenings was used to justify its release on the big screen.

The truth is that Warner did not do badly at the box office either with ‘Infernal Possession: Awakening’, because it cost more or less the same as ‘Smile’ and its worldwide collection is already around 145 million. A clear setback compared to ‘Smile’, but it is also true that it has become the highest grossing of its franchise and that it also surpassed it in positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes with 84%.

The Boogeyman

This past weekend it was Disney who wanted to follow the same path with ‘The Boogeyman’, which was being sold as the most terrifying adaptation of Stephen King to date, also resorting to a test screening very positive to cancel its release on Hulu so that it could be seen in theaters first.

That this has become an advertising strategy is quite clear, but also that in other cases it did not give rise to a thunderous success at the box office. For example, both ‘Air’ and ‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance’ should have arrived on streaming and ended up being released in theaters with the support of some good test passes. The first made more than expected at the box office -89 million dollars- but was left in losses due to its bulky cost -Amazon paid 130 million to get it-, while the second simply did not work well, staying at a revenue of 57 million against a budget of 45.

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There it would be easy to argue that they were going to earn less money by releasing them directly on streaming, but it is that the cost of the promotional campaign also grows when the release is in theaters. For example, Amazon paid 7 million dollars just for including an ‘Air’ spot during the SuperBowl commercial breaks…


However, let’s not stray any further and return to ‘The Boogeyman’, since the film directed by Rob Savage it has a much more generous budget -35 million dollars- and there are already serious doubts about how profitable it will be in theaters. For now, it accumulates an income of 20 million – its premiere has been totally eclipsed by coinciding with that of ‘Spider-Man: Crossing the Multiverse’ – and the taste in the mouth that it has left between critics and the public has been quite lukewarm. For example, on Rotten Tomatoes it barely gets the cool with 62% positive ratings.

For my part, I am quite clear that I like ‘Smile’ more than ‘Infernal Possession: Awakening’ and the latter than ‘The Boogeyman’, where they have wanted to sell us like gold what is still a fairly generic horror movie . Hollywood better reserve this secret weapon for those horror movies that actually stand a chance of profiting from it.because otherwise people will stop believing it.

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This horror movie is too good to be released on streaming and not in theaters. Hollywood’s new secret weapon begins to show signs of weakness