There has been a flurry of horror films over the past two months. As expected A QUIET PLACE PART II did very well. THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT pulled in decent numbers while SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW and THE FOREVER PURGE landed on the soft side.
Now it’s time for the next wave with a total of seven new horror films scheduled to hit theaters over the next four months. HALLOWEEN KILLS, OLD and CANDYMAN lead the pack. These three have impressive pedigrees behind the camera with David Gordon Green and M. Night Shyamalan directing HALLOWEEN and OLD respectively, while CANDYMAN is written and produced by Jordan Peele.
Of the three, HALLOWEEN has the best prospects simply because it comes on the heels of the wildly successful 2018 reboot. That HALLOWEEN scored an enormous $76M opening making it, at the time, the second-largest opening ever for a horror film. So let’s focus on that film here.
What do the numbers look like for the upcoming slate of horror films? As always, we start with awareness.
At the moment, HALLOWEEN leads with 31% awareness (37% among frequent filmgoers), followed closely by OLD at 28%. That’s all well and good, but when we graph awareness over time for HALLOWEEN (light yellow) and QUIET (darker yellow), we can see that HALLOWEEN trails by a sizable margin.
On top of that, last week Universal released a trailer for HALLOWEEN (T), but it has yet to result in meaningful gains in awareness. Yes, there has been a slight uptick over the past week, but not enough to get awareness above 30% or anywhere close to where QUIET was.
I hear what you’re saying. Yes, HALLOWEEN has several months to bring new people into the fold, but when we adjust the chart so that distance from release is across the bottom axis, you can see that HALLOWEEN still trails QUIET.
BOTTOM LINE: There is still plenty of time for HALLOWEEN KILLS to build awareness. But, at the same time, in light of the fact that the previous HALLOWEEN film performed so well, it’s surprising to see that it’s not at the same level as A QUIET PLACE, PART II or even higher. And it appears as though the trailer that was released last week is unlikely to close that gap.