“The Grudge,” Sony’s horror remake of the 2004 box office hit, kicked off the new year by bringing in $1.8 million at the Thursday box office from 2,393 screens. It opens on 2,642 screens this weekend.
“The Grudge” is the first and only new wide release of 2020 so far, and Sony’s Screen Gems is predicting a $9 million, three-day opening weekend, with trackers saying it could rise to the mid-teens against a $10 million budget.
While there’s still a lot of awards bait and other blockbusters in the marketplace, Sony has a history of releasing modestly budgeted horror films to kick off the new year. “The Grudge” however has a chance to perform slightly higher considering the name recognition of the property. Last year, Sony’s “Escape Room” earned $2.3 million on the first Thursday of the year on its way to an $18.2 million opening. And in 2018, Universal’s “Insidious: The Last Key” made $2 million in previews before grossing $29.5 million in its opening weekend.
Sam Raimi is a producer on “The Grudge,” which is based on the 2004 horror film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. That movie is itself a remake of the 2002 Japanese horror film “Ju-On: The Grudge,” written and directed by Takashi Shimizu.
Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye and Jacki Weaver star in the film about a house haunted with a vengeful ghost who curses anyone who steps inside with their imminent death. Nicolas Pesce wrote and directed the film based on a story Pesce developed along with Jeff Buhler.
“The Grudge” is produced by Raimi, Rob Tapert and Taka Ichise and is executive produced by Nathan Kahane, Erin Westerman, Brady Fujikawa, Andrew Pfeffer, Roy Lee, Doug Davison, John Powers Middleton and Schuyler Weiss.