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The Watchers Continues Horror’s Disappointing Year At The Box Office – SlashFilm

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Shyamalan’s directorial debut was not met with a warm welcome from critics or audiences. /Film’s Jeremy Mathai called it uneven but promising in his mixed review of the film. It posted a rough C- CinemaScore, which suggests word of mouth is not good, and that will hurt its chances at holding well in the weeks to come. It’s a familiar pattern when it comes to studio horror films in 2024.

“Night Swim” ($54 million) remains the biggest Hollywood horror movie of 2024, and that’s a far cry from what we’ve seen in recent years when films like “Smile” ($217 million), “M3GAN” ($180 million), and “The Black Phone” ($161 million) became unexpected breakout hits. Last year, we had franchise hits like “Scream VI” ($169 million), “Evil Dead Rise” ($147 million), and “Insidious: The Red Door” ($189 million), among others. Meanwhile, this year has seen the likes of “The First Omen” ($53 million), “Abigail” ($41 million), and “The Strangers: Chapter 1” ($38 million) fail to live up to expectations. It’s largely indie offerings like “In a Violent Nature” and “Late Night with the Devil” that are succeeding because they aren’t shouldering much in terms of expectations.

So why haven’t we had a breakout horror hit in 2024 yet? Is the horror bubble bursting? My gut tells me no. The difference here is that most of these movies, save for “The First Omen,” were met with a mixed reception at best. Stuff like “Smile” and “M3GAN” benefited greatly from strong word of mouth, which has been lacking in this year’s big studio slate. Now, if M. Night Shyamalan’s “Trap” comes out of the gate with strong reviews and flounders, then we might want to hit the panic button. For now, though, the culprit seems like it could be a perceived quality issue. Fingers crossed things turn around as the year progresses.

“The Watchers” is in theaters now.

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