- Lionsgate in talks with writers Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins for The Blackening sequel
- The original film grossed over $18 million against a $5 million budget
- Success of The Blackening empowers black creators and opens opportunities for smaller budget films
The Blackening surprised audiences by becoming the sleeper horror comedy hit of summer 2023 after it grossed over $18 million against a mere $5 million budget. Now it seems that a sequel may be in the works, with writers Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins returning to develop the script.
According to Variety, Lionsgate is discussing with Oliver, Perkins, and producer E. Brian Dobbins about creating a sequel to the film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022 and had a theatrical release in 2023. The movie features a cast including Antoinette Robertson, Sinqua Walls, Grace Byers, X Mayo, and Melvin Gregg and revolves around a group of black friends who are targeted by a masked killer while staying at a remote cabin in the woods on Juneteenth. The film received positive reviews and currently holds an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In an interview with Variety, Tracy Oliver shared her surprise at The Blackening’s success. She said, “You just never know what’s going to happen when you’re making a movie at that price point. We were like, ‘Well, maybe it’ll go to a streamer.’ Then we went and played at TIFF. It was such a great crowdpleaser that Lionsgate was like, ‘You know what, we have a theatrical play here and then streaming.’ So, the fact that it made $2.5 million in a day, that’s amazing. I’m just really, really happy. I didn’t expect it.”
Oliver also mentioned how the success has been empowering for her and other black creators, saying, “I keep telling the cast and other writers, there’s money out there. $3 million is a lot easier to come by than $20-50 million. We don’t have to necessarily wait for a studio to say ‘Yes’ anymore. For a Black person, that’s inspiring.”
Originally a sketch by Dewayne Perkins in 2016 for his comedy group 3Peat, The Blackening first gained attention as a short skit on Comedy Central in 2018 before going viral, catching Oliver’s attention who worked with Perkins to turn it into a feature film. Directed by Tim Story (Barbershop, Ride Along), the movie plays off horror tropes and subverts expectations.
Perkins spoke to Variety about potential franchise opportunities, stating, “In my mind, it’s giving franchise. I’m not sure who’s going to do it but somebody’s gonna make some more. Same group, sprinkle in some new people. I feel like we’ve got something good, and I love the dynamic, but fresh blood always turns things up a little bit.”
Although it’s unclear if Story will direct the sequel or which original cast members will return, fans of the first film are sure to be excited about the prospect of a second installment. The Blackening is currently available for streaming on Starz.