The new James Wan film MALIGNANT is nothing less than magnificent. It opened this past weekend, and it didn’t do well. It’s probably fair to call it a flop, at least insofar as its theatrical take is concerned. Why, when CANDYMAN opened just a couple of weeks ago and scored a slam-dunk? Why, when Horror has shown to be the most durable genre throughout the pandemic, and the movie is the rare example of a genre flick that received decent praise from the commoner critics as well as the trusted Genre appraisals? One reason and one reason only: MALIGNANT was available for livestreaming simultaneously, whereas CANDYMAN was not.
The studio would have made a lot more money off MALIGNANT if they’d released it exclusively to theaters. That one fact has been made with crystalline clarity this year: movies released exclusively to theaters make more money than movies available to livestream on the same day as they open in theaters. So did the shortsightedness of the studio doom any chance of us, the audience, getting a sequel to MALIGNANT, a movie that positively begs for one?
Our only hope is that the movie performs well in livestreaming, and we don’t know what the results are there. Typically numbers for livestreaming aren’t released. Let’s just hope it makes enough to make a sequel viable.