As the summer box-office continues to be dominated by sequels and franchise follow-ups, this weekend provided a breath of new theatrical air with Lionsgate’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark from genre favourite André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Trollhunter) and Academy Award-winning co-writer and producer Guillermo del Toro (Shape of Water).
Although remaining number one at the box-office this weekend, Hobbs and Shaw underperforms in North America compared to the main catalog of Fast and Furious films with an estimated second-weekend take of $25 million (a near 60% drop from it’s opening weekend last week). That being said, the true winner of this weekend’s box-office roundup is the modestly budgeted PG-13 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
A dream project of Guillermo del Toro’s, based on the first book of Schwartz’s trilogy, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was released in 1981, followed by More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. The film opened to solid Thursday night previews ($2.3 million) and an overall weekend take of nearly $21 million from North American theatres – almost recouping its production budget.
Our very own Kimberley Elizabeth called the Scary Stories To Tell in The Dark “tween-friendly horror at it’s spookiest” praising the film for “working hard to de-throne Tim Burton’s dark and gorgeous Sleepy Hollow as the scariest 14A-and-under (A Canadian thing) horror to date” and for warning a younger generation “about the power of stories, that when said enough.. become believed.” Read her full review HERE.
Harking back to a time of Amblin produced “kids films” that pushed the boundary of the MPAA rating system, the success of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark this weekend is a testament to the original book series’ enduring relevance, a thirst for non-R rated horror and importantly the growing recognition of Guillermo del Toro’s brand. As the Academy Award-winning filmmaker celebrated his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame just last week, it’s fitting that his latest film venture found such success.
This weekend’s Top 5 films at the North American box-office, courtesy of Box-Office Mojo are:
Hobbs and Shaw: $25,400,000
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: $20,800,000
The Lion King: $20,000,000
Dora and the Lost City of Gold: $17,000,000
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood: $11,600,00
Did you see Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark this weekend? What did you think of the movie? Do you hope that the two other books in the series will be adapted? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and be sure to listen to the Nightmare on Film Street Podcast’s Drive Home From The Drive-In Review of Scary Stories To Tell in The Dark over on Patreon!