M3GAN’s rollercoaster trailer instantly set it up as an immediate cult classic, and its opening weekend has the numbers to prove it.
While the film had a production budget of $12 million, it managed to gross over $30 million in its opening, domestic weekend. The biggest opening for the first weekend of January since 2018. And the biggest opening for an original horror movie since Jordan Peele’s Nope (amongst other records). All thanks to its murderous little menace that’s managed to grip the hearts of millions.
Following the story of a young girl named Cady (Violet McGraw) who’s recently lost her parents, M3GAN kicks off with Cady moving into her aunt Gemma’s (Allison Williams) home. Gemma is a hard-working roboticist who’s been building an AI, lifelike doll capable of being any child’s best friend and protective companion. When she decides to gift Cady her own M3GAN doll, things are sunshine and rainbows for a brief second before M3GAN starts wreaking absolute havoc on everyone around her.
Giving us a new, incredibly queer-coded Chucky, M3GAN is a perfect merge of camp and horror, with the film already boasting memorable one-liners and dance numbers to match. Its widespread success, and almost perfect critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, ride the bandwagon of 2022’s great roster of horror and sets 2023 up as a year to celebrate even more absurdly chaotic cinema. And there might be a sequel.
With James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious) behind its production, it seems that the prolific filmmaker has landed on another franchise goldmine as reports suggest a M3GAN sequel is already in the works — although nothing is officially confirmed. In an interview with Collider, Wan shared that “In any of my movies, whether it’s The Conjuring Universe, or Saw, or Malignant, or M3GAN here, we like to think of a bigger world… So if we’re fortunate enough to have sequels, then we have an idea of where we want to go.”
A sequel could potentially explain M3GAN’s shocking ending, and I’m personally ready to see more of her choreography. So here’s to hoping that the film’s monstrous box office success lands us even more of M3GAN — our new queer icon that’s officially taken the Babadook’s crown.