Under normal circumstances, a movie passing $1 million at the box office isn’t anything to write home about. Even some of the worst movies ever have made a ton of money – Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 made over $108 million worldwide. But today, $1 million is worth celebrating because IFC’s indie horror movie The Wretched was able to pass that milestone, thanks to its release in drive-in movie theaters across the country.
Variety has word on The Wretched box office passing the $1 million milestone after raking in $162,000 from 95 locations over the weekend. The majority of the box office for The Wretched has come from drive-ins, where the movie has been playing since May 1, when it opened in just 11 drive-in theaters. But that didn’t stop it from breaking box office records.
If you haven’t heard of The Wretched yet, here’s the synopsis for the movie from writers/directors Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce:
Following his parents’ separation, a rebellious teenage boy, Ben, is sent to live with his father for the summer and work at the local marina in order to gain some form of discipline. The idyllic tourist town offers little solace for him, however, as he is forced to deal with the local, privileged teens and his father’s new girlfriend. Ben’s problems grow increasingly disturbing when he makes a chilling discovery about the family renting the house next door. A malevolent spirit from the woods has taken a hold of the parents and starts playing a sinister game of house, preying upon the children and wiping away any trace of their existence. Ben’s suspicions of the supernatural horrors go unheeded and he launches a perilous crusade in order to put an end to the skin-walking witch’s reign of terror.
In the meantime, Quiver is the only other studio releasing box office numbers after the weekend, and they’ve got a decent haul for the thriller Becky, which earned $178,186 from 42 locations. Sure, they don’t have much competition, but again, drive-ins are certainly helping. Plus, the mere curiosity of seeing a Neo-Nazi played by Kevin James getting owned by a teenage girl (Lulu Wilson) surely helped raise interest.
With movies like this to doing so well simply by word of mouth from drive-in theaters, it’s clear people are still hungry to see movies on the big screen. Hopefully that enthusiasm will be seen later this summer when movie theaters open back up.
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As of now, only 554 movie theaters are open around the United States, and more than half of them are drive-ins. The number of open theaters will slowly grow over the next month, and the hope is major movies will return to the big screen in July. Smaller movies like Unhinged and The Outpost will kick things off, and it sounds like Tenet may be able to meet the July 17 release date after all. But we’re still waiting on official confirmation, so stay tuned.
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