Skip to main content

‘Happy Death Day’ slays ‘Blade Runner 2049’ to win the weekend box office

Happy Death Day wins weekend box office
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Chalk up another victory for low-budget horror films.

Director Christopher B. Landon’s high-concept fright film Happy Death Day easily beat last week’s box office championBlade Runner 2049, to not only win the weekend but also further cement the latter film’s status as a critical hit but a commercial flop. Happy Death Day and its $26.5 million opening weekend continues the trend of “microbudget” horror films from studio Blumhouse Productions turning a big profit for everyone involved with them, and is the studio’s third-biggest debut of the year following Split ($40 million) and Get Out ($33.3 million).

Despite the film’s big premiere, Happy Death Day fared just so-so among critics and general audiences. The film received a decent (but not great) B grade from audience polling site CinemaScore, and a 64 percent approval rating from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. All of that is less important than the box office numbers, though, and the film has already covered its $4.8 million production budget by a wide margin — something that Blumhouse has a knack for accomplishing with its films.

# Title  Weekend    U.S. Total   Worldwide Total 
1. Happy Death Day $26.5M $26.5M $31.5M
2. Blade Runner 2049 $15.1M $60.5M $158.5M
3. The Foreigner $12.8M $12.8M $101.2M
4. It $6M $314.9M $630.6M
5. The Mountain Between Us $5.6M $20.5M $30.2M
6. American Made $5.4M $40.1M $112M
7. Kingsman: The Golden Circle $5.3M $89.6M $286.7M
8. The Lego Ninjago Movie $4.3M $51.5M $96.9M
9. My Little Pony: The Movie $4M $15.5M $26.1M
10. Victoria and Abdul $3.1M $11.3M $40.1M

As for Blade Runner, there’s little good news to be found outside of the film’s extremely positive reviews. Audiences simply aren’t buying tickets to Arrival director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi sequel no matter how much positive buzz it gets, and the film’s $150 million price tag isn’t helping matters.

It was expected all along that the month of October would likely belong to Blade Runner 2049, but the film’s underwhelming performance has resulted in movies that were never projected to do well suddenly finding an audience — and the studios that were brave enough to release them in the shadow of Blade Runner are reaping the rewards.

The only other new release to make it into the top 10 was martial arts movie star Jackie Chan’s new action drama The Foreigner, which received good reviews from audiences but significantly less positive reviews from critics. The film finished third for the weekend with $12.8 million, and it looks to be one of the few recent collaborations between Chinese and American movie studios that could do well in the U.S. The film’s debut was better than pundits expected, and the film is generating positive buzz among action genre fans.

The rest of the weekend’s top 10 films were all returning movies, and at this point, it’s difficult to predict how the upcoming week will shake out.

The most prominent new release is the effects-driven disaster drama Geostorm, but don’t underestimate Tyler Perry’s holiday-themed sequel Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, which could very well end the weekend at the top of the box office. Last year’s Boo! A Madea Halloween beat Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and the well-reviewed horror film Ouija: Origin of Evil to win the weekend with a $28.5 million debut, and went on to be the top movie for two straight weeks — including Halloween weekend. Perry’s films are review-proof and draw a crowd, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Boo 2! repeat that success.

Also hitting theaters this upcoming week is the serial-killer drama The Snowman, starring Michael Fassbender, as well as the critically praised thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer, starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
Like the hit Netflix movie May December? Then check out these 4 movies that are just like it
Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in May December.

The reviews are in for Netflix's May December, and the critical acclaim it's receiving may make it a contender during Oscar season. In this film, Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Alright) plays Gracie Atherton-Yoo, a former teacher who seduced her student (and future husband), Joe Yoo (Riverdale's Charles Melton), when he was only 13. Now, in the present, Elizabeth Berry (Black Swan's Natalie Portman) is an actress who is spending time with the Yoo family because she is playing Gracie in the big screen adaptation of their lives. And Elizabeth is getting a little too involved in her drive to understand Gracie and Joe's relationship.

May-December romances between an older woman and a younger man, or vice versa, are not uncommon in Hollywood. And while there aren't many films with the exact plot of May December, we have chosen three of the most prominent examples of May-December romances that should appeal to anyone who saw Netflix's new drama.
The Graduate (1967)

Read more
3 underrated shows on Prime Video you need to watch in December
Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan in a promo image for The Fall.

Amazon Prime Video has tons of great TV shows, from its own originals like The Power, Gen V, and The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power to new and classic network series you can watch with a base Amazon Prime subscription, like American Horror Story, Spin City, and L.A. Law. But along with all the best shows on Prime Video, there are some underrated shows. These are shows you might scroll right by while searching for something to watch but never land on. Sometimes, you might not even realize they're available to watch.

If you're looking for something different, check out these three underrated shows on Prime Video you need to watch in December. One is a sports docuseries, another is a show worth watching if you're obsessed with a new Netflix true crime docuseries, and the third is a fabulous under-the-radar serial killer series with two big-name actors at the forefront.
Coach Prime (2022-)
Coach Prime - Official Trailer | Prime Video

Read more
What’s new on VOD and Digital in December 2023
Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon.

December is a very quiet month for VOD (Video on Demand) and digital releases. Of this month's titles, only Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, Trolls Band Together, and Killers of the Flower Moon are widely known. Although the premise of It's a Wonderful Knife is so amusing that it seems likely to draw both horror and comedy fans.

The rest of December's VOD titles are either experimental films or low-budget horror flicks that didn't make much of an impact in theaters. New VOD arrivals aren't cheap, but they do tend to be less expensive than buying two or more movie tickets if you are planning a night out with your friends or loved ones. Sometimes, it just makes more financial sense to stay in and watch a new movie from the comfort of home.

Read more