NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Five Nights at Freddy's

Surprise! All the Box Office Records Five Nights at Freddy's Broke on Opening Weekend

Despite a lengthy stint in development hell, Freddy Fazbear and his animatronic pals have irrefutably proven their status as indelible horror icons.

By Josh Weiss

Despite a lengthy stint in development hell and a dual release strategy that allowed audiences to watch the film at home on Peacock, the Five Nights at Freddy's movie (now in theaters everywhere and streaming on Peacock) unequivocally proved that the killer animatronics of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza are indelible horror icons by dethroning Taylor Swift and establishing a number of box office milestones.

The long-awaited film adaptation of the cult favorite video game series created by Scott Cawthon (who co-wrote the screenplay) opened with $80 million domestically and $52.6 million internationally for a global debut of $132.6 million, Variety confirms. That domestic cache of $80 million ties FNAF with Marvel Studios' Black Widow (2021) for the biggest opening for a day-and-date offering.

In addition, Five Nights at Freddy's has officially unseated 2018's Halloween reboot — which opened at $76.2 million domestically and $91.8 million globally — as the largest Blumhouse opening of all time on the North American and worldwide fronts. For context, the film was initially projected to open around $50 million as a top out figure, and easily blew past those expectations.

RELATED: What Is Dream Theory and How Does It Work in Five Nights at Freddy's?

“It was the number one priority to satisfy the fanbase,” Cawthon states in the production notes. “Yes, it’s important to make the movie enjoyable for people unfamiliar with the franchise, but the reality is that this movie wouldn’t even be getting made if it weren’t for the people who have been there from the beginning. It’s thanks to the fans that I’m here doing this at all, and that the movie got made in the first place, so making it for them was everyone’s first priority.”

Five Nights at Freddy's movie sets new box office records

Exterior shot of Freddy's Pizza Place at night

Here are some other notable box office achievements:

  • The nineteenth Blumhouse release to secure the top spot at the domestic box office (bringing the Jason Blum-founded production banner's cumulative domestic gross to over $3 billion)
  • The biggest opening for a horror movie helmed by a female director (Emma Tammi)
  • The highest North American opening for a PG-13 horror movie since The Mummy Returns ($68.139 million) over two decades ago
  • The second-largest opening for any video game adaptation after The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($146.362 million)
  • The largest horror opening of 2023 (unseating The Nun II)

"The bigger-than-expected record-breaking weekend gross for Five Nights At Freddy’s is the result of a perfectly-executed development and release strategy that found key partners in Blumhouse and Universal Pictures to adapt this video game phenomenon for the big screen horror movie experience," Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst at Comscore, tells NBC Insider over email. "This is made even more remarkable by the fact that teenagers — who had the option to watch the film at home — opted for the in-person shared experience that’s only available in the movie theater. This aspect was integral to powering Freddy's to a remarkable Halloween enhanced weekend of nearly $80 million. Between The Super Mario Bros. Movie and now Five Nights At Freddy’s, it may be time to declare that the video-game-to-big-screen curse has finally been broken."

“The IP is ridiculously popular, and Blumhouse and our director Emma Tammi did an amazing job of translating that to the big screen,” Jim Orr, head of Universal's domestic distribution added in a statement published by Variety. "The genre lends itself to people wanting to experience it together."

RELATED: What Could a Five Nights at Freddy's Sequel Be About? What We Can Learn From the Games

What is the Five Nights at Freddy's movie about?

Bonnie, Freddy Fazbear and Chica in Five Nights at Freddy's

FNAF stars Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games franchise) as Mike Schmidt, a struggling security guard who accepts the night gig at the titular pizza parlor/arcade in an effort to maintain custody of his little sister, Abby (Piper Rubio). What he doesn't know is that the dilapidated business hides a terrible secret — one that may help him solve the mystery behind the abduction of his younger brother, Garrett, years before. 

Elizabeth Lail (YouMack & Rita), Kat Conner Sterling (We Have a Ghost9-1-1), Mary Stuart Masterson (BlindspotFried Green Tomatoes), and Matthew Lillard (Good GirlsScream) co-star.

How to watch the Five Nights at Freddy's movie

Five Nights at Freddy's is now playing in theaters — click here for tickets! — and available to stream on Peacock.

The NBCUniversal platform currently offers two monthly subscription plans: Premium ($5.99 a month with ads) and Premium Plus ($11.99 a month with no ads and download access for certain titles). If you're a student, you can enjoy the Premium plan for just $1.99 for an entire year!

Looking for more theatrical action? The Super Mario Bros. MovieAsteroid CityFast X, and Strays are also streaming.