‘Abigail’ Puts ‘Scream’ Producers to the Test

Horror continues to perform well at theaters. But as this new Variety VIP+ analysis of the track record scary movies have put together in 2024, no genre is immune to the ups and downs of the marketplace.

As its success with the “Scream” franchise can attest, Project X Entertainment is a creative innovator in the genre. But the indie production outfit is back in theaters this weekend with untested intellectual property in the form of the new film “Abigail.”

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Nevertheless, Project X principal William Sherak is confident lightning will strike twice. “The mashup of those two genres, for me is the ultimate experience when I leave a theater,” he said on the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” “But at the end of it, there’s this cathartic experience where I had a great time. And that’s what the fun of the mashup is.”

“Abigail,” which concerns a 13-year-old vampire ballerina who gets kidnapped, is from Universal Pictures and Radio Silence’s Chad Villella, Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, who partnered with Project X and MRC to produce genre titles. “Abigail” represents the fourth project Project X and Radio Silence have worked on together.

Said Sherak of the MRC deal, “We went to them and said, ‘What do you think about giving us a platform to be able to put a bunch of movies that kind of fit our DNA as we find new stories to tell in this genre with new filmmakers,’ and they were all in, so it just felt like the next evolution of how we all get to keep working together.”

“Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of media and entertainment. (Please click here to subscribe to our free newsletter.) New episodes debut every Wednesday and can be downloaded at Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play, SoundCloud and more.

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