When Michael Eisner worked at Paramount and Disney, he had a theory. Movie studios shouldn’t try so hard to hit home runs — i.e., throwing money at movies until they reach tentpole status and waiting for the box office to come rolling in. Rather, Eisner sought “singles and doubles,” modestly budgeted films that went into the black at a chill pace. Nothing crazy, just cheap-to-make movies that make people go, “Yeah, that looks pretty good, let’s check it out.” This was normal for 1992, and completely foreign in 2023. Yet modestly budgeted Insidious: The Red Door handily outpaced the second week of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny at the American box office this weekend. The latest Insidious movie debuted at $32.6 million domestically, followed by Indiana Jones at $26.5 million — a 56 perccent decrease since last week. Religious “true” story Sound of Freedom came in third with $18.2 million, $2.5 million of which came from the Pay It Forward app, according to Variety.
Film Twitter was awash with analysis of The Red Door’s success. (Well, at least the parts that weren’t talking about Jonah Hill or Oppenheimer age-gap discourse were.) Praise for No. 1 horror boy Patrick Wilson came through, as well as analysis of the continuing role trailers play in the horror sphere. Below are some reactions to this weekend’s box office: