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MRC and Lionsgate are developing a sequel to “The Blackening,” the hit horror comedy from Dewayne Perkins and Tracy Oliver.
After the microbudget production (just $5 million) grossed more than $18 million at the box office, producer MRC and domestic distributor Lionsgate began discussions with Perkins, Oliver and producer E. Brian Dobbins to develop a follow-up film.
Directed by Tim Story and co-written by Perkins and Oliver, “The Blackening” follows a group of college friends who reunite for Juneteenth weekend and are chased by a killer who asks them to determine who is the blackest among them – ridiculing the common horror. movie trope that sees the black character die first. Perkins first conceived the story as a sketch for his comedy troupe 3Peat, which turned into a short film for Comedy Central, before Oliver sought to turn it into a feature film.
The project premiered in 2022 as a TIFF Midnight Madness selection, where it was embraced by raucous audiences and landed a rich distribution deal from Lionsgate. “The Blackening” hit theaters the weekend of June 19, grossing $2.5 million on its first day of release, before reaching $6 million on its opening weekend. This figure becomes even more impressive when you consider that the production budget for the horror comedy was only $3 million (the final tally comes to $5 million after P&A is taken into account) .
In an interview, Oliver said Variety that the success of “The Blackening” has been empowering: “I keep telling the actors and other writers that there’s money there. $3 million is much easier to get than $20-50 million. We don’t necessarily have to wait for a studio to say “yes” anymore. For a black person, this is inspiring.
There’s no word on the sequel’s plot, but Perkins said Variety that he envisions “The Blackening” as a franchise, similar to a “Scary Movie” versus “Knives Out” style series with a new cast for each mystery.
“Same group, sprinkled with new people,” he explained. “I feel like we have something good and I like the dynamic, but fresh blood always shakes things up a little.”
“The Blackening” stars Antoinette Robertson, Perkins, Sinqua Walls, Grace Byers, X Mayo, Melvin Gregg, Jermaine Fowler, Yvonne Orji and Jay Pharoah. Marcei A. Brown, Jason Clark, Dobbins, Oliver, Story and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett produced. Perkins serves as co-producer, with Vicky Story as associate producer.