Horror movies seem to be in a pretty good place right now. Last year, Infinity Pool was included on our most-anticipated movies of 2023 list, and it didn’t disappoint. Around the Mia Goth flick – who’s rapidly risen to become one of the most prominent scream queens in the business – we also got fellow strong original creations M3GAN and Talk To Me, as well as the likes of The Nun II, Insidious: The Red Door, and Scream VI.

Five Nights at Freddy’s stood the tallest at the box office, joining the TV show The Last of Us as a successful horror adaptation from another entertainment medium, and impressively, Saw X might have turned in the best film in the series since the original of October 1, 2004. With so much variety doing well at the box office, not to mention the viral hit Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey, it almost makes sense to revive more nostalgia-inducing horror IPs.

Rumored to be gradually building up to a cinematic release, a cult-classic film that exploded into an eight-film series might just return to the big screen soon. Indeed, the greedy, murderous creature of Irish folklore, Leprechaun, looks to be getting another film. So, what do we know about this hopefully horror-comedy flick, and could it conquer its predecessors at the box office?

The Leprechaun will return

What began with some greedy folk, including Jennifer Aniston, taking the Leprechaun’s gold in 1993 escalated into a whole run of slasher films that loved to work the comedy angle. After all, a covetous little beast in a top hat, trying to hold onto its gold, and willing to kill all in its path is a funny angle to draw from the folklore. Movie legend Warwick Davis played the part perfectly: his presence was especially missed when SYFY and WWE brought Leprechaun Returns to the small screen in 2018.

Linden Porco took on the titular role for that direct sequel to the original, following on from Dylan Postl’s one-movie stint as the Leprechaun in Leprechaun: Origins of 2014, which was intended to reboot the series. Quite simply, the odd series is in an even odder place, but that’s certainly not out of the ordinary for a horror series. Some sequels do hit the mark, as Scream 4 did in 2011, but most are just there because others made money.

For the next Leprechaun movie, though, the person put in charge of the project appears to have a real passion for at least the 90s cult classic. Felipe Vargas, who’ll be making the next film, told the Splattercast podcast that the new one will go back to the balance of horror and comedy as the first outing once did, wanting it to be “scary as hell and also hilarious”. However, it does still look to be a fresh start for the series.

Is a pot o’ gold awaiting at the box office?

Still very green and known for his short films that delve into the realms of myth from his native South America, it’s fair to say that the director isn’t a box-office draw as is. A big-name actor being attached to the new Leprechaun movie would help, but the posters showing Peter Dinklage as the lead role were just hoaxes. Still, the bar of the Leprechaun series is $8.5 million worldwide, per The Numbers, which was earned by the first film in 1993.

By comparison, the relatively niche outing of The Last Voyage of the Demeter landed over $13.6 million last year. You could also throw in that a Leprechaun movie would at least have novel appeal. The Irish creature simply doesn’t appear in media these days beyond its beloved place in iGaming. Rainbow Riches stands as what is likely the most interacted with rendition of leprechauns in the world, being a long-running slot series that remains popular today.

In the slot game, the leprechaun is very much on your side, being key to unlocking and playing hit bonus features like the Super Gem Bonus and free spins on the 117,649 paylines. As such, the Leprechaun movies offer a stark contrast to this common depiction of the gold-loving character. Even though he starred in the ill-fated Willow series, Warwick Davis doesn’t look set to reprise his role in the next Leprechaun, which could hurt its potential.

Still, each of the top 15 horror movies of 2023, in terms of domestic gross in North America, made over $8 million. Leprechaun has the novelty and name recognition as a cult classic to emulate this kind of success when it arrives. That said, being able to market it around a known star would give it a significant boost.

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