Smile, Paramount’s latest horror film, spooked its way to a strong domestic weekend box office victory with ticket sales of $22 million.
As reported by Variety, Smile has plenty of reasons to… well… smile as it has seen one of the strongest horror openings of 2022, surpassing the likes of Barbarian’s $10 million and The Invitation’s $7 million.
Furthermore, it has already recouped its $17 million production budget and has undoubtedly reassured Paramount that its decision to move Smile from a streaming-only release was a good one.
Smile also had a pretty effective marketing campaign that saw Paramount placing actors in the crowd at both Yankees and Mets games and tasking them with smiling in the most disturbing way in front of the camera.
Here’s some fun, clever movie promo – Paramount seemingly placed #Smile actors in the crowd at both the Yankees and Mets games last night, both in view of cameras. The results were indeed creepy. Going to a game this weekend? Watch out for the smiles! 😃 pic.twitter.com/aC3sqZjWvI
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) September 24, 2022
In our review of Smile, we said that it is a “disorienting, anxiety-inducing nightmare that leaves you questioning everything you see. The scares feel over-abundant at first, with feints and fake-outs almost laughably frequent, but they eventually create a creeping paranoia that nothing is quite as it seems.”
Don’t Worry Darling placed second with $7.3, dropping 63% from its opening weekend but still bringing its domestic total to $32.8 million. The Woman King placed third with $7 million, newcomer Bros secured fourth place with $4.8 million, and the remastered re-release of Avatar rounded out the top five with $4.7 million.
Speaking of Bros, while it didn’t have the strongest opening, it will always hold on to the honor of being the “first gay rom-com given a theatrical release by a major studio, the first with an all-openly LGBTQ cast, and [Billy] Eichner is the first openly gay man to ever write and star in a Hollywood movie.”
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