Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 June 2020

Horror continues to conquer US box office with impressive 'Suspiria' debut

Luca Guadagnino's remake of the the 1977 classic sets this year's per-screen average record, Halloween stays top

Dakota Johnson as Susie Bannion in the new horror film 'Suspiria' (2018). Photo by Sandro Kopp/Amazon/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Dakota Johnson as Susie Bannion in the new horror film 'Suspiria' (2018). Photo by Sandro Kopp/Amazon/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Luca Guadagnino's remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic Suspiria proved over the weekend that the current resurgence in the popularity of the horror genre isn’t confined to the multiplex – it’s sweeping art house cinemas, too.

While another horror flashback – Halloween – sat atop the overall box office for a second week, taking in a further $32m (Dh117.5m) over the weekend, Suspiria set this year’s record for the highest average gross per screen on its opening weekend.

Guadagnino’s film only opened in two theatres – LA’s ArcLight Hollywood and NYC’s Regal Union Square – but it took a whopping $89,903 average from the two screens, the highest total since Guardagnino’s own, Oscar-nominated Call Me by Your Name, which took a $103,233 average from four theatres in November 2017, and higher than this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, The Shape of Water, which took an $83,282 average from two screens on its initial opening in December 2017.

Suspiria is set to open in more theatres this weekend to capitalise on Halloween. The film stars Dakota Johnson as a young American dancer who wins a spot at an elite Berlin dance academy where things turn out to be more sinister than she had expected. The film also stars Tilda Swinton and Chloe Grace Moretz.

It's the latest in a long line of recent successes for the horror genre. Jordan Peele’s Get Out blew critics away last year, and picked up an impressive four Oscar nominations. Andres Muschietti’s It became the highest-grossing horror film ever with a $700m global haul, also last year, while this year has seen both box office and critical success for A Quiet Place, The Nun and The First Purge.

The Suspiria news is likely to be well received by producer Amazon Studios. The screen average is the highest ever for an Amazon production, beating its previous best, the award-winning Manchester by the Sea by an impressive $25,000.


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