How Five Nights at Freddy’s Killed at the Box Office

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Will Blumhouse be able to keep this loyal fanbase happy in future films?

When Five Nights at Freddy's was released in August of 2014, it quickly gained a following due to its inventive gameplay and spooky animatronics. However, few could have predicted that it would become a box office success story with its recent film adaptation. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the movie adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy's has grossed an impressive sum of $114 million at the box office, solidifying the franchise's status as a pop culture phenomenon.

For those unfamiliar with the franchise, "Five Nights at Freddy's" centers around a group of animatronics that, by day, would entertain children in a family-friendly pizza restaurant. However, after the disappearance of some local children, the facility shuttered its doors to the public. Now left in a shell of their former self, these animatronics become possessed and turn violent, with the player taking on the role of a guard tasked with surviving until dawn. The game's unique blend of survival horror and puzzle-solving, coupled with its creepy atmosphere, made it an immediate hit with gamers.

In 2015, it was announced that a film adaptation of the game was in the works, with Warner Bros. securing the film rights. Over the years, the project went through numerous directors and scripts, but it wasn't until recently that things began to pick up steam. The Final Project was directed by Emma Tammi (Blood Moon), alongside writers Scott Cawthon (Security Breach: Fury’s Rage), and Seth Cuddeback (Mateo).

Video game adaptations don’t have a good track record as far as making big bucks at the box office, so what makes Five Nights at Freddy’s different from its competition? To start, the production’s dedication to using only practical effects for the animatronics was a big help. Utilizing the skillset provided by The Jim Henson Company, the monsters in Five Nights at Freddy’s look amazing and are true to their source material.

Remember, these characters hold a special place in the hearts of children and we need to show them a little respect, right? - Scott Cawthon

Another major factor was the decision to keep this as an entry level horror for kids. Five Nights at Freddy’s rides the line between terror and wholesomeness just enough that all members of the family can enjoy the film. Warner Bros. also relied heavily on the huge fan base of the franchise. These fans would spend hours breaking down the various teases and posters attempting to dissect any hidden meaning that could be found within.

And the hype train caused by this film will likely persist for quite some time. Five Nights at Freddy’s prides itself on having a deep, complex, and typically confusing lore running behind the scenes. Any fans of the Soulsborn genre will understand what kind of feverish fascination that can cause. As such, fans have already begun ripping apart every piece of the film in an attempt to predict what may be next in line for the game adaptation.

Blumhouse was keenly aware that the fan base would react this way, and the writers made sure to put in just enough easter eggs to showcase the many possible directions the franchise could take moving forward. While also leaving just enough mystery to allude that maybe these signs are just nods and don’t have any large amounts of meaning behind them.

Two main theories about possible sequels are prevailing amongst the fanbase at the moment. The first is the possibility of “The Sister Location”. Keen eyed fans were able to spot that Circus Baby made an appearance in the first film, leading them to believe that it is possible that the franchise will choose to explore that particular storyline moving forward.

Fans believe that the next most likely scenario will be that the next film will follow the storyline of “Security Breach”. This storyline involves the people working alongside the big bad which was somewhat reflected in the first movie. Knowledgeable fans also point out the inclusion of Vanessa, who plays a large role in the Security Breach plotline.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is a massive franchise spanning many different storylines, so the possibilities are nearly endless for Blumhouse. With thirteen variations of the game and counting, this franchise could have a long life in the cinema. The only question will be whether they can keep the camp, lore, and horror at just the perfect balance to please both the loyal fanbase and horror lovers.

Cameron McFarland | Contributing Writer

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