Most brick and mortar movie theaters remain closed around the US, but drive-in theaters have begun to operate more than ever around the country. This has been a good omen for IFC horror film The Wretched, which has led at the box office for the past two weekends in a row. The grand total for the film’s debut? Only $296,954 since it’s May 1 release, but that’s still enough to get the film the #1 spot.
The Wretched, directed by Brett and Drew Pierce, opened at 21 drive in theaters after debuting at the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival. The film follows a teen boy who discovers a witch is disguising herself as their next door neighbor, all the while coping with the difficulties of his parents’ divorce.
In the film’s first weekend debut starting May 1, the film eared $92,387, followed by $86,428 in its second weekend, and an increase to $124,082 this past weekend.
Second in the running was Beanie Feldstein’s How to Build a Girl, which is at a total of $55,802 since it’s release earlier in May. The film, also from IFC, is about a young woman who reinvents herself to become the music critic of her dreams, but may be losing herself in the process. It’s opening weekend brought in only $13,201 with a significant increase it’s second weekend, coming in at $32,052.
So far, just under half of the country’s drive ins are currently open, at about 150 of 306 locations. Almost 50 other theaters are opening with reduced capacities in states including Texas and Georgia.
Big name titles are going to be necessary to get the big chains to open up, and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is expected to be just that. But for now it looks like the limited screens are giving these indie titles a moment to shine.