On the heels of its big opening weekend, New Line Cinema has decided to make a sequel to “Lights Out,” TheWrap has learned.
The PG-13 horror movie, made for less than $5 million, has already grossed $27.7 million in North America and $36.2 million worldwide since its opening last week.
Swedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg, currently filming “Annabelle 2,” will be back to direct.
“Lights Out,” distributed by Warner Bros., more than quadrupled its production budget with a huge $21.6-million opening in 2,818 theaters last weekend. To compare, it narrowly beat Fox’s “Ice Age: Collision Course” sequel, produced for 21 times more than the scary movie with a big $105-million budget.
“It’s friggin’ awesome,” Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. Executive Vice President of domestic film distribution, said. “Whenever you can gross more than four times your budget on the domestic opening weekend, that’s a grand slam home run,” he told TheWrap on Sunday, doubling down on his baseball puns.
Produced by master of horror James Wan (the “Saw” franchise), Goldstein emphasized New Line’s expertise in the genre, which dates back to 1984’s “Nightmare on Elm Street” and its subsequent sequels. He also credited the movie’s marketing campaign with its better-than-expected opening.
The film, starring Teresa Palmer as a young woman who fights off a supernatural entity that has attached itself to her mother, represents the directorial debut of Sandberg.
As TheWrap has previously reported, scary movies sell tickets more reliably than almost any other genre — big-budget superhero movies included.
Eric Heisserer is also returning to write the “Lights Out” sequel with Sandberg directing. Through his Atomic Monster production company, Wan will also be back to produce along with Lawrence Gray through Gray Matter Productions.