Horror Movie ‘The Wretched’ Takes In $186,000 as Drive-In Theaters Gain Popularity

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IFC’s horror movie “The Wretched” is leading the small weekend box office with an estimated $186,000 at 59 movie theaters. It drew a respectable $3,153 per theater average during the Friday-Sunday period.

Currently, 348 of the 5,400 North American theaters are open, including 169 drive-ins, according to Comscore. Last week, only 21 drive-ins were open, marking a significant rise in their popularity and accessibility during the coronavirus crisis. Most movie theaters across the country are still closed due to the virus outbreak. IFC is the only distributor reporting box office totals this weekend.

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“The Wretched,” which premiered at the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival, has scared up a total of $548,609 since launching on May 1 at 11 drive-ins, including the Mission Tiki in Montclair, Calif., where it had an informal premiere. Written and directed by Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce, “The Wretched” follows a young boy who discovers an evil witch in the nearby woods. The cast include John-Paul Howard, Piper Curda, Zarah Mahler, Azie Tesfai and Jamison Jones.

“A horror movie, a big screen, the communal experience; these are three things that go perfectly together and movie fans have found a friend in IFC, a company that has been committed to the theatrical exhibition model in the age of COVID-19 by delivering ‘The Wretched’ to patrons hungry for outside of the home entertainment despite having a scary number of options at home for filmed content,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.

There are 179 brick-and-mortar theaters now open in states where governments are easing social-distancing rules, including Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. Many studios have opted to either delay releasing major titles or open them on digital platforms, such as Warner Bros.’ “Scoob,” which launched May 15.

Paramount announced this weekend that it has acquired the drama-comedy “Mighty Oak” for a theatrical release on June 5 at North American movie theaters and drive-ins. Solstice Studios will also open Russell Crowe thriller “Unhinged” on July 1 with plans to launch on a nationwide basis. Fathom Events and Screen Media have unveiled plans to open war thriller “The Outpost” at 500 locations on July 2.

Most theaters are not expected to open until mid-summer, and no other major releases are set to launch, except for Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” on July 17. However, with shelter-in-place guidelines possibly still effective, it’s unclear whether “Tenet” will be able to maintain that date.

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