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The Black Phone | Universal | June 24, 2022 | Profit of $67.8M

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Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions have selected Jan. 28, 2022 for the release of Scott Derrickson’s next movie The Black Phone. Uni already had the date on hold for a Blumhouse title, and this is the one.


The Black Phone is currently the only wide release on that date, coming in the wake of Sony/Marvel’s Morbius on Jan. 21. There currently aren’t any wide releases scheduled for the weekend after, Feb. 5-7.


The Black Phone reps Derrickson’s return to horror. Before Marvel’s Doctor Strange, the filmmaker directed such genre titles as Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Deliver Us From Evil.


In The Black Phone, Finney Shaw, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.


 4x Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke stars with newcomer Mason Thames. The Black Phone is produced, directed, and co-written by Derrickson. He co-wrote with C. Robert Cargill (Doctor Strange, Sinister franchise), based on the award-winning short story by Joe Hill from his New York Times bestseller 20th Century Ghosts. Pic is produced by Derrickson & Cargill’s Crooked Highway. Jason Blum also produces with the duo, with EPs being Hill, Christopher H. Warner and Ryan Turek.



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I don't see the appeal of this. Also a bad look if in the trailer there are two iconic things cribbed from other movies. First being the magic trick line and the second being the very specific image of a young boy in a yellow raincoat...in a rainstorm...in a horror movie. 

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I think this looks great. Am I in the minority? Sure the homages to other films were obvious, if not downright jarring, but the trailer unnerved me and that's always a great sign.


Horror is very subjective but I've always liked Derrickson's brand. I maintain that the scariest movie I've seen - if we're measuring that by how impacted we felt during and after the film - is the Exorcism of Emily Rose. That film shook me for days (Jennifer Carpenter's performance was a big part of that too).


In a word, I'll be giving this a go.

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So Universal just went from having three theatrical exclusives in February to turning one (Marry Me) into a hybrid release and delaying the other two (this and Ambulance) to later dates within the span of a few days. Shifting from the dumpy Super Bowl weekend to a prime summer spot indicates they know they have a winner on their hands.

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