This 70-second teaser is mostly an excuse to tout the already solid online buzz from the junket press that saw the film last week (reviews will begin to fall at midnight tonight). The sequel, part five of the 25-year franchise, arrives in theaters on January 14, 2022 (with previews on Thursday) over MLK Weekend. It only exists because Spyglass which bought the rights to manufacture new Scream films and convinced Paramount to distribute them. That’s why a lot of these seemingly dead reboots, remakes, and franchise continuations are happening. When properties change hands, new owners want value for their money.
The film opens 11 years later Scream 4 which opened 11 years later Scream 3, manufacturing Scream the Before sunrise slasher franchises. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson Scream opened for just $ 6.2 million at the end of December 1996. It rode a wave of great reviews and a searing “kids say it moves” buzz to become the first teen slasher film to hit 100 million dollars to the country. At the time, the biggest horror targeting teenagers / non-prestige (so not counting The Exorcist Where Thesilenceofthelambs) was the 1989 adaptation of Pet Seminar which brought in $ 57 million to the country. Yes, 17x your opening weekend is a miracle even during the holiday season.
scream 2 opened in mid-December, less than a year later, achieving a true sequel performance with an opening weekend of $ 33 million, just behind Air Force One ($ 37 million) among R-rated openings at the time. I saw Scream his first Saturday in an almost empty theater. I saw scream 2 in an opening night packed and energetic as hell. When Dewey was rolled into the ambulance, after once again surviving a stab in the back, the audience roared in approval and relief. It wasn’t super leggy (Titanic, Tomorrow never dies, as good as it gets, Jackie Brown and Goodwill hunting all openings over the next two weeks didn’t help), but it still grossed $ 101 million domestically and $ 171 million globally on a $ 24 million budget.
Cut in February 2000, when scream 3 had to contend with a post-Columbine culture that saw fit to blame horror movies, video games, and heavy metal music for young men killing their peers with heavy guns, as it remains politically easier than blame access to guns. The movie went to another high school melodrama to a sequel set on the set of a Stab movie, where A) none of the victims were terribly sympathetic, B) the violence was so tame it could have been shown unedited on Network TV, and C) the movie undermined the entire franchise with a twist on “The Sidney’s secret brother is the master of puppets “so horrible and self-destructive Hollywood has seen fit to continue using him to Austin Powers 3, Specter and The Rise of Skywalker.
scream 3 open with $ 34 million and flat with $ 89 million domestic and $ 162 million on a budget of $ 40 million. It was fine, but the bloom was out of the rose, and that should have been the end of it. Despite being, or because it was, a legacy before they were cool, Scream 4 made just $ 38 million domestically and $ 98 million globally on a budget of $ 40 million. As I noted several times at the time, legacy legacies and generational nostalgia are a hard sell when you can’t bring the kids and have to pay for a babysitter. But now, because Hollywood is stuck in a trap where no one wants to see anything new, we have Scream 5 nor stupidly titled just Scream.
Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette join newbies Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Kyle Gallner, with Barrera (In the heights) as the new protagonist and Ortega apparently being the curtain raiser. This is another example of ‘not a white’ actors being used as a glorified alibi to resurrect a dead IP address, and I can only hope that its potential failure won’t damage its non-white leads any more than it did. Scream 4 made to Emma Roberts. I have long argued that inclusiveness is an element of added value for a film that the audience already wants to see, which only works if the audience wants to see another. Scream movie.
Although obviously much cheaper than Matrix resurrections, Scream faces a similar challenge by capitalizing on nostalgia for a franchise that audiences typically adore only the first movie. Yes, a lot of people correctly like the Matrix suites and scream 2. But the last two Scream the films received poor reviews and generally poor word of mouth, although the generation that saw Scream 4 when they were teenagers, now they are convinced that it was “good, actually”. I am curious whether the modern consensus among “young people” on the old Scream the legacy suite will spark any additional interest in this one. Or, maybe the general public doesn’t care Scream 5 more than they cared Scream 4.
Will the series finally have the courage to fend off at least one member of its star trio (a constant dilemma since this is the rare horror franchise starred by renowned heroes)? Will this episode be the first good since scream 2 in 1997? Will this be another case of IP extension that exists not because the fans want it but because the studio wants it? Did the audience that would otherwise have prepared me for a new Scream the movie decides to ignore it and watch it again Street of Fear 1994 or SyFy is generally smart Chucky TV show instead? We’ll find out on January 14, 2022, when Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett Scream opens in the room.