Josh Hutcherson was “absolutely” surprised at ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ success, talks sequel

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One of the biggest box office surprises of 2023 was the video game adaptation Five Nights at Freddy’s — and apparently one of those who was shocked was its main star, Josh Hutcherson.

In the modestly budgeted thriller, The Hunger Games franchise vet played a troubled security guard who takes a night shift at a defunct family fun center that harbors a murderous secret.

Years after the game became a hit — and two years after a very similar premise was teased by the Nicolas Cage bomb Willy’s Wonderland — Five Nights opened in theaters on October 27 to more than $80 million in its first weekend, on its way to a nearly $290 million global haul.  

The performance was even more impressive considering it also dropped on Peacock on the same date, meaning fans who grew up playing the jump-scare game made it a point to see it in theaters. 

When asked if the movie’s performance surprised him, Hutcherson tells ABC Audio, “Absolutely.”

The star of the upcoming The Beekeeper expressed, “You know, the game obviously has a huge following and those fans are die-hard. And to bring something like that to life, it’s really cool to be a part of. But I don’t think anybody really thought it would connect as well as it did with audiences.”

He added of the Universal/Blumhouse production, “I loved it. It was really fun to make. I’m chomping [sic] at the bit to see … what they do for the sequels and stuff.”

The movie not only brought Hutcherson and co-star Matthew Lillard to a whole new audience, it made Josh the star of countless memes. “It’s crazy,” he says with a laugh. “The internet’s gone wild. They’ve lost it. I love it, but they’ve lost it.”

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