Box Office: Vampire Thriller ‘Abigail’ Tries to Take a Bite Out of ‘Civil War’ With $12 Million Debut

Talk about nepo babies. “Abigail,” a blood-sucking thriller about the daughter of Dracula, arguably the most famous vampire in history, is poised to lead at the domestic box office.

The R-rated movie, from Universal Pictures, is aiming for $12 million to $15 million from 3,300 North American theaters in its first weekend of release. But the gory “Abigail” first has to fend off last weekend’s champion, A24’s “Civil War,” before taking the box office crown. The provocative thriller debuted last weekend with $25.8 million and looks to bring in $10 million to $12 million in its sophomore outing.

More from Variety

Based on projections, “Abigail” will, however, dance circles around two fellow newcomers, director Guy Ritchie’s “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” and Crunchyroll’s anime adventure “Spy x Family Code: White.” Those films are targeting $5 million to $6 million, though rivals have pegged ticket sales ever-so-slightly higher at $8 million.

“Abigail” is based on Universal’s classic 1936 monster film “Dracula’s Daughter” and centers on kidnappers who capture a 12-year-old ballerina. They demand a $50 million ransom from her father, a powerful figure from the underworld. However, the would-be criminals soon realize they’ve taken hostage not an ordinary girl, but a vampire child who plans to hunt them down one by one. Critics seem to dig the movie, which holds a 82% on Rotten Tomatoes — basically a rave for horror. The film, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (who call themselves Radio Silence and also directed “Ready or Not” and “Scream VI”), cost $28 million. So as long as inaugural revenues land on the higher end of estimates, “Abigail” shouldn’t struggle to turn a profit in its theatrical run.

Elsewhere, “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” and “Spy x Family Code: White” will compete with holdover tentpole “Godzilla x Kong: A New Empire” on box office charts. “Godzilla x Kong: A New Empire” — which has now grossed $438 million globally — collected $15 million last weekend and could add $6 million to $8 million in its fourth frame.

Unless “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” beats expectations, the action-comedy is shaping up to be the latest big-screen misfire for Ritchie, the filmmaker of “Sherlock Holmes,” “The Gentleman” and “Aladdin.” Those movies were commercial winners, but the director’s last two films, 2023’s spy comedy “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre” and war story “The Covenant,” were duds with single-digit debuts of $3 million and $6 million, respectively. Lionsgate’s “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre” rebounded slightly but tapped out with $48 million against its $50 million budget, while MGM’s “The Covenant” flamed out with $21 million worldwide on its $55 million budget.

Henry Cavill, Henry Golding and Eiza González star in “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” which puts a fictionalized spin on the real covert British military group that recruited a small group of skilled soldiers to strike against Nazis. Lionsgate is releasing the film, which reportedly cost around $60 million.

“Spy × Family Code: White” is the latest feature from Sony’s Crunchyroll, which specializes in anime movies and TV shows. The animated action-comedy is the first film based on the popular manga TV series “Spy x Family” by Tatsuya Endo. “Spy × Family Code: White” has already opened at the international box office, where it’s earned $45.8 million to date.

VIP+ Analysis: Can ‘Abigail’ Up Scary Films’ Theatrical Strength?

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.