Horror will be lighting up the box office once again in 2023. That all starts with Blumhouse and Universal’s M3GAN which hits theaters this Friday, January 6. Now, after an extremely entertaining marketing campaign, the film centered around an AI companion gone horribly wrong is looking to have a scary good opening weekend. M3GAN‘s estimated to make $17-$20 million in its opening weekend in 3400 theaters across North America.
This is great news from this new horror franchise as it only took $12 million to produce this film. In classic Blumhouse fashion, this means M3GAN could almost double its budget in just one weekend if this estimate rings true. Avatar may be dominating the box office again in its fourth week of release this weekend, but M3GAN is another fine example of why marketing matters. At first glance this film could just be seen as a Chucky knock off. However, Universal, through its brilliant trailers and publicity stunts, turned M3GAN into a can’t miss theater experience. Similarly to last year’s smash hit Smile, M3GAN took its marketing to the next level with the now famous doll getting into twitter feuds with Chucky and an army of M3GANS taking over an NFL game. You never knew what M3GAN was going to do next which only built anticipation even more.
When we’re talking about the film itself the trailers and various clips released have done a wonderful job of showcasing its uniquely corky tone. This is a fun horror comedy slasher type affair, but things like M3GAN dancing down a hallway or dog crawling to their next victim could go south very quickly. However, director Gerard Johnstone and producer James Wan seem to be playing the ridiculousness of their plot completely straight. M3GAN might look fun and innocent, but she means business. She’s not afraid to rip someone’s ear off and is a master at threatening people. When you combine that with its memorable marketing it’s not hard to see why the film is going to have a crazy successful weekend. Universal and Blumhouse know that they have the next major horror franchise on their hands. These numbers support that. M3GAN is here to stay, and this killer doll looks to join Blumhouse’s other major franchises like Insidious and Paranormal Activity as a new box office queen.
M3GAN dances into theaters on January 6 and stars Allison Williams and Violet McGraw. While we wait for horror’s new icon to dominate at the box office, you can view M3GAN’s trailer down below.