With its theatrical window deal with AMC Theaters in its back pocket, Universal released the Blumhouse body-swap horror film “Freaky” in theaters this weekend, where it performed consistently with other pandemic releases with a sluggish $3.7 million opening from 2,472 screens.
Directed by “Happy Death Day” creator Christopher Landon, the film stars Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton as a serial killer and a teenage girl, respectively, who suddenly switch bodies. The film has received strong reviews with an 85% Rotten Tomatoes critics score and an 82% audience score.
“Freaky” is one of several Universal and Focus Features releases that are moving forward with theatrical release this winter with plans to release on premium video on-demand as early as three weekends after hitting theaters. As part of the deal with AMC that led to this shortened window, the theater chain will share in the PVOD sales.
Focus Features also has two films in theaters: the Kevin Costner drama “Let Him Go,” which is adding $1.8 million in its second weekend for a 10-day total of $6.8 million, and the tech horror film “Come Play,” which added $1.1 million in its third weekend, giving it a total of $7.3 million. 101 Studios’ “The War With Grandpa” was the one non-Comcast release to gross in the seven digits this weekend, brigning in $1.3 million for a total of $15.2 million after six weekends.
In limited release, NEON has sent the LGBT period piece “Ammonite” into 280 theaters, grossing $85,000. The film may score Oscar nominations for Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan as 19th-century paleontologist Mary Anning and geologist Charlotte Murchinson, who embark on a secret affair in South England. The film has a 69% Rotten Tomatoes score.