Is ‘Five Nights At Freddy’s’ poised for a strong second debut at the box office with $40M?

So here’s something interesting after a crazy box office season affected by the actors strike and dominated by Taylor Swift: Universal/Blumhouse’s film adaptation of the popular video game, Five Nights at Freddy’s, is gearing up for an opening weekend that could reach $40M. If it does achieve that, it will be the second-best debut at the fall box office this year, only surpassing Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour which grossed a staggering $92.8M on its opening weekend. Mark your calendars as the film releases in theaters and on Peacock on October 27.

If things don’t go as well as expected, there is still optimism in the $30M range. However, let’s not get carried away with the numbers. Last year, Universal’s theatrical-day-and-date release of Halloween Ends had predictions of earning over $50M. Ultimately, the final installment of the David Gordon Green-directed Halloween trilogy, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, raked in $40M during its opening weekend. While the film’s availability on Peacock impacted its box office performance, the streamer was delighted to announce that Halloween Ends became the most-watched film or series on the platform for a weekend at the time.

The current buzz surrounding Five Nights at Freddy’s shows that the marketplace is craving for prominent releases besides the female-targeted Taylor Swift: Eras Tour. The film’s advantages lie in its recognition as branded intellectual property and being a genre movie. Even at $40M, the debut of Five Nights at Freddy’s surpasses the opening weekend of Uni/Blumhouse/Morgan Creek’s $400M acquisition, The Exorcist: Believer, which only managed to earn $26.4M. To date, the latter film has accumulated a total of $47M as of Tuesday.

When it comes to attracting audiences below the age of 25, Five Nights at Freddy’s is leading the pack, surpassing other titles like Uncharted ($44M opening), 2022’s Scream ($30M), Halloween Ends, Insidious: Red Door ($33M), and M3GAN ($30.4M opening).

Directed by Emma Tammi and written by Tammi, Scott Cawthon, and Seth Cuddeback, Five Nights at Freddy’s is based on a nine-year-old video game franchise. It revolves around a troubled security guard who starts working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. His first night on the job proves to be far from easy as he discovers the horrors that lurk within the establishment. The horror film stars Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Kat Conner Sterling, and Piper Rubio, along with Mary Stuart Masterson and Matthew Lillard.