‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Dominates Marvel, Dreamworks, and ‘Halloween’

in Entertainment, Movies

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in black striking her classic pose, Freddy Fazbear smiling to camera with a mic in his hand, Michael Myers from Halloween looking inquisitive in the dark

Credit: Marvel Studios, Scottgames, Blumhouse Productions

Five Nights at Freddy’s (2023) is officially a box office smash, not only shattering records set by other horror and Blumhouse films but dominating records set by juggernauts like Marvel and Dreamworks as well.

Josh Hutcherson running from Freddy Fazbear, Foxy, and Bonnie in Five Nights at Freddy's
Credit: Blumhouse Productions

Related: Five Nights at Freddy’s: Everything You Need To Know About FNAF

The terrifying horror game phenomenon Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNaF) was created by Scott Cawthon after a character he designed from a previous game was compared to “a scary animatronic animal” similar to Chuck E. Cheese. Instead of being hurt, Cawthon decided to run with it.

Almost ten years later, the franchise is going stronger than ever. The simple gameplay, terrifying animatronics, and surprisingly deep lore have made the FNaF series some of the most popular indie video games of all time, inspiring over a dozen different games and creating one of the most rabid fanbases on the internet.

Foxy, Chica, Freddy Fazbear, and Bonnie on a dimly lit stage in Five Night's At Freddy's
Credit: Blumhouse Productions

Naturally, a movie was bound to be made about the mechanical monstrosities. Produced by Universal Pictures and horror factory Blumhouse Productions and directed by Emma Tammi, the film boasts an all-star cast, including Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games (2012) as Mike Schmidt, Matthew Lillard from Scream (2996) as Steve Raglan/William Afton, Elizabeth Lail from You (2018-2019) as Vanessa Afton, and Piper Rubio as Abby Schmidt. The animatronics and puppets were created by the Jim Henson Creature Factory.

Fans of the game and horror, in general, have been waiting for this movie for a long time, especially after the animatronics were seen in person at Halloween Horror Nights. However, critics were less than kind to the PG-13 adaptation.

Critics Can’t Stand ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’

A Freddy Fazbear animatronic with a woman holding her hands up next to it
Credit: Blumhouse Productions

Related: Fight Breaks Out at Early Showing of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’

While fans and horror aficionados were excited about the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, critics did not seem to share the same enthusiasm.

The movie opened to some of the worst overall reviews of the year, earning a measly 28% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics lamented that the film spent more time on the lore and backstory telling you why Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza was scary instead of just showing you.

Josh Hutcherson as an animatronic is being forced onto his face in Five Nights At Freddy's
Credit: Blumhouse Productions

Related: ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Opens to Poor Reviews, Fans React

Usually, these types of reviews would be enough to destroy a film; just look at what happened to Haunted Mansion (2023). However, audiences strongly disagreed, leading to a massive 89% audience score and one of the largest opening weekend successes of the year.

FNAF Shatters Box Office Records, Dethroning Marvel, Dreamworks, and Michael Myers

Black Widow (Scarlet Johannson) in white storming away, Freddy Fazbear smiling at the camera, Puss In Boots looking smug and irritated
Credit: Marvel Studios, Scottgames, Dreamworks

Related: Sneak Peek: Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) Review

Despite the critical hate, Five Nights at Freddy’s has overperformed at the box office, earning $78 million domestically, although some reports are saying it’s actually $80 million. Add on about $52 million internationally, and this small-budget film has earned over $130 million globally. That’s more than Blue Beetle (2023), a DC film with a $100 million budget, did in its entire theatrical run.

What makes this especially impressive is that FNaF opened simultaneously on Peacock, meaning people could have just as easily stayed home instead of going to a movie theater. This makes FNaF the second-highest-grossing simultaneous release, just behind Marvel’s Black Widow (2021). However, if some reports are to be believed, FNaF actually passed it.

Puss in Boots surrounded by flames, Michael Myers surrounded by flames in Halloween Kills
Credit: Dreamworks, Blumhouse Productions

Because of these impressive stats, FNaF has broken numerous Halloween and horror movie records. The film has the largest opening weekend total for a horror movie this year, surpassing The Nun II (2023) and the highest simultaneous release for Blumhouse, passing Halloween Kills (2021) and Halloween Ends (2022). In fact, FNaF has the best global opening for a Blumhouse film ever, surpassing 2018’s Halloween total of $91.8 million.

FNaF is also the most successful PG-13 horror movie release of all time, surpassing The Mummy Returns (2001) and its opening weekend total of $68 million. Finally, FNaF is now the most successful film to open on Halloween weekend, more than doubling Dreamworks Animation’s Puss In Boots (2011).

All the animatronics in bright pink on the Five Nights at Freddy's poster
Credit: Blumhouse Productions

Related: ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Fight Exposed As Staged Hoax

When it comes to FNaF’s identity as a video game movie, it is also in good company. The film now holds the record for the second-highest opening of a video game movie, behind this year’s box office titan, The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023), another movie that critics hated and audiences loved.

After one weekend, Five Nights at Freddy’s is already one of the highest-grossing Blumhouse, Horror, and video game movies of all time. There is no doubt that it will climb the ranks, becoming one of the most successful movies of the year. And it will be exciting to see just how much it proves the critics wrong.

What did you think of the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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