There’s no doubt that director Ari Aster’s 2018 feature debut, Hereditary, was a polarizing film. Critics loved it, but horror fans were pretty split on its quality. To some of its was one of the best movies of the year, to others it was a boring, pretentious slog.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was very much in the “loved it” camp for Hereditary, and happily went to see Aster’s Wicker Man-esque follow-up, Midsommar, on opening day earlier this week. I ended up loving it too, although not quite to the same degree.
Critics are once again in love with Midsommar, but unfortunately, the film doesn’t look likely to repeat Hereditary’s sizable box office success. Made for about $10 million, Hereditary ended up grossing nearly $80 million worldwide, a big return on investment.
Midsommar also cost about $10 million to make, but so far, it’s not measuring up financially. For its first Friday-Sunday weekend, the film earned only $6.6 million, and its full five-day total is only $10.9 million. That’s short of Hereditary in both respects.
By contrast, Hereditary’s 3-day total was $13.6 million, with its 5-day total rising to $17.2 million. While Midsommar could conceivably make up some ground overseas, it likely won’t be enough to come close to matching Hereditary’s total worldwide gross.
While profits are obviously not equal to a film’s quality, distributor A24 was likely hoping Aster’s sophomore effort would perform better. Either way, the man is an amazing talent, and I can’t wait to see what beautiful cinematic nightmare he conjures up next.