“Scream VI” slashed through the competition at the Thursday box office, taking in $5.7 million in preview showings. The Adam Driver-starring sci-fi thriller “65” followed suit with $1.2 million.
The latest installment in the beloved horror franchise opens Friday in approximately 3,675 domestic locations. Previews took place Thursday evening at 3,125 theaters starting at 5:30 p.m. The Paramount and Spyglass Media Group film is expected to earn $35 to $40 million this weekend, possibly besting “Scream V,” which opened to $30 million. For a comparison, that film grossed $3.5 million at the Thursday box office in January 2022. It went on to make $81.6 million in the U.S. and $137.7 million worldwide against a $25 million budget.
Bolstered by a starry cast and stellar early reviews (79% from critics and 93% from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes), “Scream VI” is aiming to beat the franchise box office record, currently held by “Scream 3” with $34.7 million ($60.3 million in today’s currency).
“Scream 5” stars Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding and Jenna Ortega reprise their roles for No. 6. And original “Scream” star Courteney Cox also returns, along with “Scream 4” star Hayden Panettiere. The story follows the cast as they move out of the suburbs and into the city in the wake of the latest Ghostface killings.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett directed from a script by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, based on characters by Kevin Williamson. Producers are Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Paul Neinstein.
“Scream VI” opens opposite Sony Columbia Pictures’ “65,” the sci-fi action thriller starring Adam Driver as a pilot stranded on an unknown planet 65 million years ago. He and fellow survivor Koa (Arianna Greenblatt) must battle against prehistoric creatures for their survival.
The studio projects an opening in the $7 to $8 million range, against a $45 million budget. Preview showings began Thursday at 4 p.m. in 2,901 locations.
Co-starring Chloe Coleman and Nika King, the film is written, directed and produced by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. Sam Raimi, Deborah Liebling and Zainab Azizi also produced.
Another new film jostling for space in a crowded box office is Focus Features’ “Champions.” Directed by Bobby Farrelly and written by Mark Rizzo, the sports dramedy stars Woody Harrelson as a former minor-league basketball coach who finds himself in charge of a team of players with intellectual disabilities. Kaitlin Olson, Ernie Hudson, Cheech Marin and Matt Cook also star.