As previously written about here, The Wretched is the number one movie in America for a unique reason. The independent supernatural horror film follows a young boy who discovers an evil witch in the nearby woods and must stop it from harming his neighbors. It has been available both in drive in theaters and VOD streaming for about a month now. The film continues to rake in big money at the box office, especially when compared to its minimal production budget, and it may provide an insight into the future of movies and distribution.
Over the last decade, we have seen mid-budget movies go to the wayside in favor of large budget studio tentpoles and small budget movies, with studios finding that these movies are the most profitable for their company. Not only does The Wretched prove that drive in theaters are a worthwhile venture and provide a safe environment for people to watch movies, but it may make the divide between movie budgets larger. Low budget movies provide a low risk, high reward venture for companies with studios like Blumhouse Productions finding the most success in this model.
IFC Midnight, the studio behind The Wretched, is thriving now that most blockbusters are not expected to release anytime soon. The company will certainly make a solid profit despite the coronavirus pandemic, and studios may follow their lead and continue to invest in low budgeted movies as they provide flexibility for release structures. Flexibility is the name of the game in this world with the coronavirus not expected to slow anytime soon. Low budget movies like this film can be released in limited theaters or VOD and still turn a pretty penny, allowing studios to continue bringing in funds and therefore more movies to release.