Two exciting predictions came true during the past weekend – both Hereditary (a new post-horror, slow-burning-and-loudly-exploding flick from the magnificent A24) and Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.’ remake featuring an all-female, all-star cast) lit up and shined, earning their studios the top box office numbers.
Despite the low Cinemascore rating of a D+, which barely bothers the folks who released The Witch and It Comes at Night (both badly-Cinemascored, both financially and critically successful,) Hereditary marked the biggest opening weekend in A24’s history, bringing $13 million from 2,964 theaters. It can be said that A24 outshines many other indie, and even big studio, horror releases, keeping their projects under the cover of mystery and exciting the audiences with the promise of some truly terrifying and engaging experiences. The studio’s previous opening record was $8.8 million, earned by the brilliant first-feature effort of Robert Eggers, The Witch (which is currently available on Amazon Prime for any fans of folklore, mythic horror.)
Ari Aster, the director of Hereditary, is a first-timer as well. Gaining acclaim and numerous compliments from stars like Bo Burnham, David Patrick Lowery (fellow A24 directors) and Kumail Nanjiani, Aster has earned respect from fellow creatives, making this writer excited to see what opportunities are now open for the director and his next work.
Speaking of sequels, Ocean’s 8 hit the theaters with the predicted $41 million earning (the film was initially marked to bring $30 million in the opening weekend, which was raised after the first-night screening last Thursday.) Escaping the curse of franchise-rebooting (experienced by such failures as Ghostbusters and The Mummy) and exemplifying how a female-dominated cast can act as a box office giant, Ocean’s 8 is on a pass for commercial success, yet it should be noted that critics have been lukewarm toward the film. The place for a truly successful, modern reboot with gender-swap tactics remains available.
If you haven’t seen either Hereditary or Ocean’s 8, maybe it’s time to finally lift on up from that comfy couch of yours, turn off the streaming, grab some friends and head on over to the movie theater for some exciting time in the dark, with no distractions. Check out the trailers for Hereditary and Ocean’s 8!