Originally meant to go straight to streaming, Smile has instead slayed the box office.
The horror movie Smile has proven to be one of the year’s best films for the genre with its box office profits continuing to climb. Premiering in theaters in September, the film was originally meant to go straight to streaming with a release on Paramount+. Shifting Smile to the big screen turned out to be a smart move with the film how landing at $99.1 million earned domestically with another $103.8 million coming in from overseas. Its global total of $202.9 million makes the film a tremendous success for Paramount when considering the modest $17 million budget.
Per Variety, Paramount Pictures president and CEO Brian Robbins said in a statement: “The spectacular worldwide performance of Smile demonstrates what is truly possible when you deliver a brilliantly sticky marketing campaign on top of a masterfully made high-concept horror film. Thank you to all our creative partners, director Parker Finn, the amazing cast and our best-in-class production, marketing and distribution teams for creating a communal entertainment experience that movie-loving audiences can only find in the theaters!”
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The film playing only in theaters, along with positive reviews and word of mouth, has continued to keep horror fans checking out Smile on the big screen. Its unique marketing campaign is another factor that helped Smile find its success at the box office. This includes hiring actors to attend MLB games and stare directly into the camera while wearing T-shirts with the word “SMILE,” all the while sporting a creepy grin. Images of the actors went viral and led to a lot of attention coming to the film.
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Smile Is a Hit with Horror Fans
While Smile is an original horror film, it stood tall over the very popular Halloween franchise. Halloween Ends boasted the return of Jamie Lee Curtis for one last sequel, putting an end to her long-running feud with Michael Myers. While the movie was simultaneously made available on Peacock and was met with negative reviews, Halloween Ends is a financial success with a $102.9 million haul at the domestic box office, compared to its $33 million budget.
Still, even with the film coming out two weeks earlier, it’s worth noting that Smile has banked about $100 million more than Halloween Ends. Smile had also managed to draw more than the Michael Myers movie after the latter’s second weekend in theaters. Given how much more money Halloween Ends would need to make at this point to catch up, it seems unlikely that it will match the profits made by Smile.
Smile was written and directed by Parker Finn. It stars Sosie Bacon, who has drawn some praise from father Kevin for her role in the film, alongside Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Kal Penn, and Rob Morgan.
Smile is still playing in movie theaters. You can view the official trailer for the film below.
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