Can ‘Scream’ Upend Spider-Man’s Box Office Run?

Paramount Pictures is set to release its first theatrical title of 2022: A relaunch of director Wes Craven’s successful mid-’90s Scream slasher franchise, which co-starred Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell and David Arquette, among others, over four movies — the last in 2011.

In the fifth installment, with the return of the aforementioned cast and new co-directors (Craven died in 2015), a new killer has reportedly donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. The movie has a positive 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Paramount is reportedly projecting around a $20 million opening weekend box office (it generated $3.5 million in Thursday night screenings), which could be enough to unseat Sony Pictures’ enduring juggernaut Spider-Man: No Way Home from atop the theatrical podium through Jan. 16. The title, which topped the 2021 box office despite debuting on Dec. 15, is projected to generate around $19 million in ticket sales.

To date, No Way Home has generated more than $675 million at the North American box office, and more than $1.5 billion globally. As the movie’s theatrical run winds down, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the title into retail channels. Amazon is currently taking packaged-media pre-orders for the title with no release date yet announced.

The lone other box office podium spot is likely to be filled by Universal Pictures’ animated musical sequel Sing 2, with an estimated $8.5 million in ticket sales. The title has generated more than $110 million domestically; $192.6 million worldwide.

‘Scream’ Coming to 4K Blu-ray for 25th Anniversary

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the 1996 slasher film Scream for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Oct. 19 to mark its 25th anniversary. A 4K Steelbook edition and a newly remastered Blu-ray also will be available. The discs will include access to a digital copy of the film.

Directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, Scream deconstructs the horror genre by paying homage to the conventions of slasher films while upending them with clever twists and witty dialogue.

After a series of mysterious deaths befalls their small town, an offbeat group of friends led by Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) becomes the target of a masked killer. As the body count rises, Sidney and her friends turn to the “rules” of horror films to help navigate the real-life terror they’re living in. The film also stars Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy, Rose McGowan and Drew Barrymore.

The new Scream 4K and Blu-ray releases will include the new retrospective featurette A Bloody Legacy: Scream 25 Years Later, a look back at the film and Craven, featuring archival behind-the-scenes footage and new interviews with Campbell, Cox and Arquette, as well as Williamson and the directors and other cast members from the new installment in the franchise scheduled to premiere in theaters in 2022.

Other extras include commentary by Craven and Williamson, a production featurette, behind-the-scenes featurettes “On the Scream Set” and “Drew Barrymore,” and a Q&A with the cast and filmmakers focused on the questions “What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?” and “Why are People so Fascinated by Horror Films?”

In addition, Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures are re-releasing Scream in select cinemas Oct. 10-11.

Lionsgate Acquires Stake in Spyglass Media Group, Enhances Home Entertainment Catalog

‎Lionsgate has acquired the majority of the Spyglass Media Group feature film library of approximately 200 movies, and formed a strategic content partnership with the content producer headed by former MGM Studios boss Gary Barber.

The agreement gives Lionsgate a 20% investment stake in Spyglass, whose assets include the latest installment of the “‎‎Scream‎”‎ horror franchise to be released Jan. 14, 2022; feature film ‎‎The Upside‎‎; fashion competition series “‎Project Runway‎”; and the revival of the “‎‎Hellraiser‎”‎ franchise, currently in pre-production.‎ The agreement also includes a multiyear first-look television deal with Lionsgate Television.

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Barber will continue to lead Spyglass as its chairman/CEO and the senior leadership team will remain in their current roles.

Library titles acquired encompass a broad range of commercial and critical hits, including Fruitvale StationThe King’s SpeechScream 4Scary Movie 5Spy Kids 4PaddingtonSilver Linings PlaybookLee Daniel’s The Butler and a growing portfolio of Quentin Tarantino titles — Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds and The Hateful Eight.

Lionsgate generated more than $700 million in catalog-based revenue in its most-recent fiscal year across multiple distribution channels, including retail packaged media, rental, digital sellthrough and streaming.

“This agreement continues to grow our valuable portfolio of IP while partnering us with Gary Barber, one of the leading entrepreneurs and content creators in the business,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement. “It is a win/win deal that creates significant incremental value for both companies while continuing to add to our global content distribution platform at a time when the demand for premium content is greater than ever.”

Spyglass strategic investors include Andy Mitchell, founder, CEO and managing partner of Lantern Capital Partners; Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group; Tarak Ben Ammar, chairman of Eagle Pictures; and Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld Group.

The transaction was negotiated for Lionsgate by chief operating officer Brian Goldsmith and Lionsgate EVP and general counsel Corii Berg, with Sheppard Mullin LLP acting as legal advisor. The transaction was negotiated for Spyglass by a team headed by chief legal officer Cheryl Rodman, with Moelis & Company LLC serving as the exclusive financial advisor and Venable LLP acting as a legal advisor for Spyglass Media Group.