It Follows is proving as relentless as its shape-shifting villain.
Writer-director David Robert Mitchell’s low-budget horror film, about a teenage girl (Maika Monroe) haunted by a sexually transmitted curse, has proven one of 2015’s more impressive box-office successes. While originally slated to open in New York and Los Angeles theaters for a small theatrical run before moving to video-on-demand platforms, it surprised the industry enough to warrant a wide release in 1,200 theaters this weekend. It made $4 million, ranking fifth among all films.
It’ll continue to expand if it keeps scaring up big business. The Radius-Dimension release’s March 13 limited opening resulted in a huge $40,000-per-screen average in four theaters, and its $4.8 million total thus far has more than doubled the movie’s production budget.
“With the best reviews of any American horror film since Evil Dead and the biggest exclusive opening for any horror film since Paranormal Activity, going wide was the logical next step,” says Radius co-president Tom Quinn.
Most movies in the genre are poorly reviewed, cheap to make and “drop like a corpse in their second weekend in theaters,” says Rentrak media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “This makes them the cinematic equivalent of a really scary roller-coaster ride that quickly becomes boring after one run through the tracks.”