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American Horror Story

abigail horror movie
Beyond blood-suckers, Abigail’s mediocre launch amplifies the concerns in Hollywood that there are too many horror films, or that general interest audiences have turned against them. Courtesy of Universal
Scott Mendelson
April 22, 2024

The underwhelming $10.2 million domestic debut of Universal’s well-reviewed and well-received Abigail is a disappointment, but perhaps not a shock. Sure, the movie had a fun hook (kidnappers realize that the 12-year-old girl they snatched is a vampire), the cast was filled with geek-friendly names (Melissa Barrera, Kathryn Newton, and Dan Stevens), and it came from the directors of Ready or Not and the past two Scream flicks (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett). But that only meant so much to general audiences, especially for a film that carried a $28 million production budget.  

Vampire-specific horror films have been on a losing streak of late, as evidenced by Universal’s 2023 flops Renfield ($26 million worldwide on a $65 million budget) and The Last Voyage of Demeter ($22 million/$45 million). The Invitation, Sony’s summer 2022 sleeper, earned $38 million globally on a $10 million budget because it mostly hid the Dracula connection. And beyond blood-suckers, Abigail’s mediocre launch amplifies the concerns in Hollywood that there are too many horror films, or that general interest audiences have (comparatively) turned against them, or both.