Demand for New Horror Movies Isn’t Highest in October | Charts

Horror movies are generally associated with Halloween and the fall season. But new releases in the genre premiere throughout the year, and this summer’s new crop of horror movies looks especially strong. Two franchises (Ti West’s “X” film franchise and “A Quiet Place”) are releasing their third title, while horror heavyweight M. Night Shyamalan teamed up to produce his daughter’s directorial debut “The Watchers.” And as it turns out, audience demand shows summer is an ideal time to release a new horror movie.

Share of horror movies by premiere month (Data via Parrot Analytics)

Parrot Analytics Content Panorama tracks the dates of past and upcoming film releases. Looking at horror movie premieres over the past four years there is a clear spike in the number of titles in this genre that premiere around Halloween. Almost 20% of the horror movies that have premiered in the past four years premiered in October. Nearly a third of horror films premiered in September or October. Yet while October may be a crowded month for new horror content, these movies don’t necessarily have the most in-demand premieres.

When we consider the average demand for new horror movies in their first 30 days, the value of scheduling premieres for the off-season becomes apparent. The average demand for new horror movies that premiered in October in the last four years was 5.3 times the average movie demand. This makes October the month with the fourth lowest average demand for new horror premieres. New horror premieres in October only had higher demand than November, December (the season for feel good holiday content), and March.

Average demand for horror movies by month (Data via Parrot Analytics)

Horror audiences are spoiled for choice when looking for a movie to watch in October but on average these new films have less demand than horror films that premiere in most other months of the year. In particular there is elevated demand for new horror movies that premiere from April to September. In particular, September horror premieres benefit from getting an early jump on Spooky Season. June had the highest average demand for new horror movies, which had nearly nine times the average movie demand if they premiered in that month.

This bodes well for several recent and upcoming horror movies this summer. “The Watchers” had 35 times the average movie demand in its first week. Ahead of its premiere on July 5, demand for “MaXXXine” is tracking well ahead of demand for the previous two movies in the “X” film franchise. Looking at demand for the last two movies in the franchise, it’s clear how audiences are more eagerly anticipating new releases in the series — it took nearly a month for “X” to reach its peak demand, while prequel “Pearl” hit its peak demand within a week of premiering.

While some people only look for horror content around Halloween, die-hard horror fans show up all year long.

Demand for “Maxxxine,” “Pearl” and “X” (Data via Parrot Analytics)

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