It was the first Scream movie in 11 years and the first entry not directed by Wes Craven. But with Scream 6 having been recently greenlit, Scream (2022) was clearly well-received.
Today we will review how Scream (2022) managed to succeed at the box office. As well as what we know about the upcoming sequel and what this means for the franchise moving forward.
On a budget of around $24 million Scream (2022) managed to rake in over $138 million. This makes it a much more successful franchise revival than Scream 4 and shows that the franchise can still draw an audience.
How did the film achieve this? Firstly, the film was released on January 14th and it didn’t have much competition from new releases. Many of the high-grossers on the week of release were films like Spiderman: No Way Home, The King’s Man and Sing 2. Which had been in the box office charts for weeks. Scream (2022) gave cinemagoers something fresh to watch.
Secondly, it had a strong marketing campaign that hit the ground running. The first trailer was released in October 2021 and a steady stream of social media and physical campaigns helped keep interest up. There was not 6 months of long build-up, Scream (2022)’s marketing was very tight and well-paced.
And it had the benefit of being a franchise film. Meaning it already had an existing audience. But with it also marketing itself as a requel focusing on new characters it drew in new viewers as well. All of this came together to make Scream (2022) a solid box office performer.
Scream 6: What We Know?
Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment officially announced the development of the next Scream sequel less than a month after Scream (2022)’s release. All we currently know is that directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett as well as writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick will be returning to helm the project. It is set to start shooting this summer.
Good or Bad?
Now on the one hand it is nice to see the Scream franchise return triumphantly to the big screen. The series holds a special place in many horror fans’ hearts. So to see it return at the height of nostalgic requels is incredibly appropriate. Even though series creators Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson (beyond an executive producer role) were not involved fans and critics seem to appreciate this film’s handling of the series’ legacy.
The danger of another sequel this soon is that it risks transforming Scream into just another slasher series. Previous films always skewered a breadth of horror and general movie tropes. Slasher tropes, sequel tropes, tropes of trilogy conclusions, tropes for reboots, and now tropes for requels. But with requel sequels being less of a phenomenon the series has comparatively little to parody. Thus it could be less effective. Alternatively, it can just focus on its own mythology however that means it would lose part of its unique identity.
A new Scream sequel should be handled carefully. Especially if, as James Vanderbilt admitted, a sequel was not planned.
Scream (2022) proved me wrong. It became a huge success thanks to its tight marketing, a good choice of release date with a lack of new competition, and it pulled in a huge audience of horror fans and general audiences, old and new. Scream 6 was inevitable. Still, cranking out another sequel so soon risks the series losing something special. Personally, I want the series to wait for the right moment to return. Rather than rushing ahead simply to chase box office returns.