By Nancy Tartaglione
May 26, 2018
EXCLUSIVE: Sony/Blumhouse’s Insidious: The Last Key has cracked the $100M mark at the international box office. This makes the 4th title in the series the only one to pass the century milestone. The current overseas cume is $100.14M with $167M worldwide to become the franchise’s highest grossing title both offshore and globally. Universal had domestic on the Adam Robitel-helmed chiller with Sony Pictures Releasing International taking the rest of the world. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions produced The Last Key through Stage 6 Films with Blumhouse Productions.
Horror/supernatural over-indexed internationally in 2017 and the trend continues. (This year has seen Paramount’s A Quiet Place recently cross the $100M threshold.) The Last Key performed best in Indonesia which has been throwing off increasingly big numbers. The rest of the Top 5 is rounded out by Mexico, the UK, Russia and France. Brazil, it’s worth noting, was close to that cut with Latin America one of the regions that leans into the genre.
Insidious 4 opened offshore back in January, in the mix of holdover behemoths Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Sony’s own Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. It bowed higher than the start of all three of the previous Insidious installments. As we said at the time, Sony worked a smart overseas campaign. The final markets opened in April.
The Leigh Whannell-scripted and produced feature is produced by Jason Blum, Oren Peli and co-creator James Wan with franchise newcomer Robitel directing. Steven Schneider, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Charles Layton, Bailey Conway Anglewicz and Couper Samuelson are exec producers. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired the original Insidious at Toronto in 2008, and all subsequent productions have been overseen by SPWA in partnership with Blumhouse
Supernatural thriller The Last Key follows parapsychologist Elise Rainier as she investigates a haunting in her childhood home. Lin Shaye is back as Rainier.
Sony leveraged Insidious fan-favorite star Shaye, Whannell and micro-budget horror king Blum as international ambassadors for Insidious: The Last Key around the world. Major themes in the creative advertising were ghosts and the supernatural elements of the film, as well as the message: ‘Childhood fears always come back to haunt us,’ which struck a chord with offshore audiences.
Highlights of the promotional campaign include at Brazil ComicCon in Sao Paulo last year where Shaye and Blum were greeted with a standing ovation as they took part in a panel to an SRO crowd. Make-up artists were on hand to turn fans into bloody “keyfingers,” while Blum announced the winners of a poster contest that had over 1,000 entries.
At CineAsia in Hong Kong, Shaye received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Whannell and Wan accepted the Franchise Achievement Award. Also launching at CineAsia and premiering to the public through partnership with the Cinépolis theater chain in Mexico City, audiences were given the opportunity to feel the fear as moviegoers wore a vest embedded with tech that synchronized to the entire movie. This was the first film to utilize the special Sony Haptic technology.
The Insidious 360 Experience, narrated by Shaye on social platforms, also brought fans into the haunted childhood home of Elise Ranier with several million views globally.
The previous trio of movies finaled internationally at $43M, $78M and $61M, respectively. With The Last Key, the overseas haul is 60% of the total, versus the first movie’s 44%. The previous highest-grossing film in the series was Insidious: Chapter 2, which took in $161M worldwide including $78M abroad.
Robitel is represented by CAA, Zero Gravity, and attorney Rob Szymanski.