Scary ‘Freddy’s’ film scores big North America opening

The new horror film “Five Nights at Freddy’s” shot to the top of the North American box office this pre-Halloween weekend, taking in an estimated $78 million — a frighteningly good opening for a film also available via streaming.

“This opening is fantastic,” analyst David A. Gross said, adding that the film looks likely to rank just behind two Stephen King “It” movies among domestic horror film openings.

“Freddy’s” take, reported by industry watcher Exhibitor Relations, made it an instant winner for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, which spent just $20 million to make the video game-based film — which is also streaming on Universal’s Peacock service.

Josh Hutcherson stars as a down-at-the-heels security guard working nights at an abandoned family entertainment center, where creepy animatronic characters spring murderously to life after dark.

Down a notch after leading the box office for two weeks was “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” at $14.7 million.

The film, chronicling three of the superstar’s concerts, has taken in $149.3 million in North America and $53 million abroad, making it the first concert film ever to pass the $200 million mark globally.

In third place, also down one spot from its debut last weekend, was Martin Scorsese’s history-based epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” at $9 million. Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone star in the dark story about the 1920s murders of Native Americans by evildoers coveting their oil wealth.

The faith-based documentary “After Death,” which looks at people’s near-death experiences, took in $5.1 million for Angel Studios. The film comes only months after the small Utah-based studio released its first big hit, “Sound of Freedom,” which has grossed more than $230 million.  

In fifth, down two spots, was Universal’s horror film “Exorcist: The Believer,” at $3.1 million. Leslie Odom Jr. and Ann Dowd star in this sequel to the 1973 original.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie” ($2.2 million)

“Freelance” ($2.1 million)

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” ($2 million)

“Saw X” ($1.7 million)

“The Creator” ($1 million)