Five Nights at Freddy’s director might have just struck the most lucrative film deal of 2023

The gamble may just have paid off

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 01 November 2023 14:35 GMT
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Five Nights at Freddy's trailer

The director of horror smash hit Five Nights at Freddy’s reportedly struck a risky deal that is now paying off immensely.

Since the video game adaptation was released on Friday 27 October, the film has become yet another horror sleeper hit at the box office, receiving the biggest opening ever for film production company Blumhouse.

While Blumhouse producer Jason Blum has been expressinghis delight at the record-breaking release, it’s now being reported that it will also lead to a huge payday for director Emma Tammi.

According to Puck, the outlet claims Tammi was paid $500,000 (£412,000) upfront with her contract featuring a backend deal that could see her receive a percentage of the film’s overall profts.

For many this would be seen as a huge risk as, if the film flopped, Tammi would not have been paid as much as other directors of similar films. However, the film has made $136.8m (£112.7m) in its opening week alone from a budget of $20m (£16.5m)

What makes these figures so impressive is the fact that the film was released simultaneously in cinemas and on distributor NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock.

Typically, studios releasing their films in this manner would be happy to end a cinema run with the takings amassed in Five Nights at Freddy’s opening week.

These figures have also defied negative reviews from critics, and look set to increase in the coming weeks. The Independent has contacted NBCUniversal for comment.

In response to the report, film fans are praising Tammi and celebrating the box office success as a “massive win” for women directors.

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“I hated the movie but good for her, get that bag girly,” one cinemagoer wrote, with another adding: “Even if she got 2 per cent of profits, that’s $2.2m. Crazy.”

Emma Tammi, director of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’

Five Nights at Freddy’s is an adaptation of the popular gaming series of the same name, and follows a security guard (Josh Hutcherson) who must save himself from four murderous animatronic figures who come to life whe he’s working the night shift at a family entertainment centre.

It’s been yet another big year for horror thanks to the release of films including M3GAN, A24’s Talk to Me, which is available to stream now on Netflix, and the sixth Scream film.

Tammi's previous credits include horror show Into the Dark and podcast series The Left Right Game.

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