Horror Movie ‘Rings’ Takes Over Friday Box Office, Unseats ‘Split’ [Video]

Rings is a direct sequel to the first and second U.S. adaptation of the Japanese horror hit The Ring (Ringu in Japan). Now that the winter months have descended over the world and horror is ripe on the theatrical circuit, Rings has made significant progress with its Friday debut at the box office.

If there is one thing that fans of horror hate, that is a movie that reboots a franchise as opposed to simply adding a sequel. Rings certainly did not disappoint with that demand, but it has received some critical reviews.

Critical reviews aside, Rings has managed to unseat the reigning box-office champ in its maiden premiere with a $5.6 million haul on Friday, leaving the former box office champ Split in the shadows at $4.8 million, according to the reports on Box Office Mojo.

The two horror movies are duking it out over Super Bowl weekend and there is good reason to believe that neither movie will do well on Super Bowl Sunday. But if Friday is any indicator, especially for Rings, there is enough hype and buzz for both movies to make waves at the box office for a winter opening.

Horror fans should also be aware that it is rare for a horror movie to make a lot of money at the box office. Although horror film producers have been crafty with the editing of their films to get them down to a PG-13 rating, the demand for horror is still very low and it takes a lot for them to really make bank by the standards set forth by Hollywood and the industry.

Rings is also one of those movies that may have been watered down just enough to get that family-friendly rating from the MPAA. But it still features many of the scares and frightening sequences that made the original film, The Ring, such a success in the United States back in 2002, which made $129 million in the United States and $249 million worldwide.

That means that Rings has a lot to live up to if it wants to bring in the former glory of its siblings and pull out massive box office returns. Horror movie fans should remember that the first day for a movie like Rings is not an accurate indicator that the film has the necessary mojo to sustain good returns. If Rings does not get good word of mouth, then that could take all the wind out of its sails and it could fizzle out with less than $10 million at the box office, but that is rare.

The fact that Rings unseated Split is also a major milestone. The M. Night Shyamalan film represents the director’s former glory and a return to big box office returns for the famed horror filmmaker who found overwhelming success in the early millennium with films like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs.

Split has been on top of the box office over the last few weeks, beating out the likes of other big name films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, A Dog’s Purpose, and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. With such serious mojo working for Split, it appears as though Rings is the first film to harsh its buzz in the last 15 days.

If all goes right, then Rings could also take the crown for the entire weekend, even if it is Super Bowl Weekend and people may not be flocking to the theaters on Sunday. But the real test for Rings will be the box office results for Saturday, following the word of mouth influence over social media from the Friday showings.

[Featured Image by Paramount]