Can ‘Happy Death Day’ Keep Blumhouse’s Box Office Momentum Going?

After scoring big with “Get Out” and “Split,” Universal and Blumhouse are launching another horror movie just in time for Halloween

Happy Death Day
Patti Perret/Universal Pictures

At the start of 2017, Universal and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse took over headlines throughout Hollywood with the success of “Split” and “Get Out,” which combined to gross $531 million worldwide against a combined budget of $13.5 million.

Now, the studio and production duo are back with “Happy Death Day,” another low-budget horror film that will serve as Blumhouse’s entry to this year’s Halloween season.

While it’s expected to be the No. 1 film this weekend, “Happy Death Day” is tracking well behind Blumhouse’s other recent releases, with independent projections estimating an $18-20 million opening this weekend from 3,130 screens. Universal projects a mid-teens opening.

By comparison, “Get Out” grossed $33 million in its opening, while “Split” debuted to $40 million.

That’s not a good sign for a box office that has seen September’s “It”-fueled boom wear off. But for Blumhouse, there’s still a chance that this film could overperform, particularly among moviegoers under 25.

Teens played a critical role in the success of “It,” with 15 percent of opening weekend audiences coming from the under-18 crowd despite the film’s R rating. “Happy Death Day” has a PG-13 rating, making it more accessible to high schoolers. And early reviews have been good so far, with a 71 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating.

“Happy Death Day” stars Jessica Rothe as a college student forced to relive the day of her murder over and over until she discovers who the killer is. Christopher  B. Landon directed the film from a script by Scott Lobdell. .

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Also opening this weekend is STX’s “The Foreigner,” a revenge thriller starring Jackie Chan as a London businessman who hunts the terrorists who killed his daughter. Martin Campbell’s film, which also stars Pierce Brosnan, is projected for a $10-12 million opening from 2,515 screens.

Finally, there is Open Road’s “Marshall,” a biopic starring Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall in one of the future Supreme Court Justice’s first legal cases.

Reginald Hudlin’s film — which also stars Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, and James Cromwell — is projected to open at  $3-4 million from 821 screens against a $12 million budget.