Peacock is owned by NBCUniversal and they are lagging behind a bit in the streaming game. Bringing high-profile, new releases to the service that are still in theaters is a way to try and attract subscribers. That’s logical enough. But to what degree that impacts the bottom line for a movie like “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is difficult to quantify. That said, we can look at “Halloween Ends” last year, which tumbled a massive 80% on its second weekend after coming in below projections on opening weekend. Yes, it still made $105 million worldwide against a $20 million budget — an absolute win — but it certainly would have made more were it not for the day-and-date Peacock release.
Granted, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” does have a younger-skewing audience, as a lot of kids grew up playing these wildly popular games. Going to the movies isn’t necessarily as cheap as it once was, so watching it at home might be a better option for younger viewers. It also might be enough to get that household to subscribe to Peacock. That’s the idea. Would it be better for the film and Universal financially, in the grand scheme of things, to go with an exclusive theatrical release at least for a few weeks? That’s not for me to say but, in any event, it’s crystal clear that anticipation for this one is high.
The film centers on a troubled young man named Mike who is caring for his 10-year-old sister and is haunted by the disappearance of his younger brother more than a decade before. Desperate for work, Mike agrees to take a position as a night security guard at an abandoned restaurant, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. He quickly discovers that nothing is what it seems. With the help of a local police officer named Vanessa, Mike’s nights at Freddy’s will lead him down a nightmarish path. One filled with killer animatronic robots.