After the success of Ari Aster’s 2018 horror hit Hereditary, Midsommar is struggling to reach its predecessor’s heights.
While both films were beloved by critics, fan opinion has been more divided, and it doesn’t look like Midsommar can’t match its predecessor’s success. Hereditary was made for about $10 million, and has currently grossed nearly $80 million worldwide, making a big return on investment. This came after a 3-day total of $13.6 million, with its 5-day total rising to $17.2 million. Midsommar lags behind with only $6.6 million during its opening weekend, and according to Box Office Mojo, its full five-day total as of July 7th is only $10.9 million. It’s in no danger of failing to make a profit and it could reach an impressive sum with overseas sales, but it just doesn’t have the same impact Hereditary did.
Both horror movies are based around non-standard premises, and involve more social horror than the average monster movie. Midsommar is also unique in that it deliberately leans into its quirky cast and setting to squeeze some comedy out of the creepy cult affair. This may have improved its standing with audiences somewhat, as the film received a “C+” CinemaScore from opening day audiences, an improvement over Hereditary’s “D+”. Midsommar is currently the largest indie opening of the year and landed just outside last weekend’s top five highest domestic films, so it could feasibly pick up the pace somewhat in the coming weeks.
Midsommar came out last Friday, and will continue to play in theatres for a few more weeks. CGMagazine’s Brendan Frye gave the film a 9/10, remarking that “While it lacks the emotional resonance of his first outing, Ari Aster, with Midsommar, manages to deliver a haunting and powerful film that will stick with you long after the credits roll.” If you’re into slower horror cinema, it’s probably worth your time.