M3GAN leads the top-grossing horror movie of 2022 Thursday

M3GAN's Thursday gross was slightly higher than "Smile," the top-grossing horror film of 2022, a good sign for Box Office Killer Doll.

M3GAN's first box office numbers are in, and its opening night is slightly ahead of last year's Smile. M3GAN, a joint effort by James Wan and Jason Blum, follows Get Out's Allison Williams as a talented roboticist as she creates the titular AI doll to care for her recently orphaned niece (played by Doctor Sleep's Violet McGraw) ), she quickly developed a sense of self and hostility towards anyone who stood in her way. After enjoying a viral marketing campaign and overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics ahead of its Jan. 6 release, audiences now have the chance to see the killer doll flick in theaters.

Now, the first box office figures for M3GAN have been released. The sci-fi horror film grossed $2.75 million in Thursday night previews, Variety reported. That's slightly higher than last year's $2.1 million for Smile. Those numbers are a positive sign for M3GAN, as "Smile" took in $216 million at the box office, making it the top-grossing horror movie of 2022.

Can M3GAN Top Avatar: The Way of Water This Weekend?

While M3GAN's box office projections look good, it's not expected to top Avatar: Way of Water on its opening weekend. this is It's less an indictment of horror movies than a testament to the longevity of James Cameron's blockbusters. M3GAN has already made $2.75 million from Thursday night's previews, and is projected to take in between $17 million and $20 million on its opening weekend on a budget of just $17 million, which will see it turn around quickly. For profit.

M3GAN will slightly cut Avatar: Way of Water's fourth weekend in theaters, though it won't be enough to stop its dominance at the box office. "Avatar: Way of Water" is expected to make $30 million to $35 million this weekend. However, the James Cameron sequel is already showing some signs of slowing down, as that's about half of what the film made over New Year's Day weekend last week, bringing its four-day holiday weekend total to $82 million.

While it won't top Avatar: Way of Water anytime soon, Thursday night's opening before Smile is an encouraging sign for M3GAN. The comparison is apt because both low-budget horror films ran viral marketing campaigns, and "Smile" got people watching photobomb baseball The game and M3GAN inspired the TikTok dance challenge. Smile set a precedent by becoming the highest-grossing horror film of 2022, and with M3GAN off to a better start, only time will tell if 2023's first major title can reach similar heights.

More: M3GAN ending explanation (detailed)

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