The 'Rings' Premiere Would Wipe Out Over a Million People

In its opening weekend, 'Rings' would decimate a city the size of San Antonio.

Paramount Pictures

First you watch it. Then you die. That’s the tagline for Rings, the third installment in the PG-13 horror series about a video that, one week later, kills anyone who watches it. 12 years after The Ring Two, Rings opened in theaters this weekend. It earned $5.6 million from 2,931 theaters on Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and it is projected to finish Super Bowl weekend with $13 million in revenue.

The main premise of the film is that when a person watches this mysterious video full of unsettling imagery, a series of events begins to unfold, ultimately culminating in the viewer’s death. This premise, like many in the supernatural world of horror films, is somewhat absurd. But at Inverse, we embrace the absurd and ask the resulting questions:

How Many People Would Die From Watching Rings?

If everyone who watches Rings this weekend died one week later, how many people would die? We can calculate this from box office sales and the average price of movie tickets. According to figures from the Motion Picture Association of America, the average ticket price in the United States is $8.65. So if Rings earns $13 million this weekend, that means about 1,502,890 tickets were sold. Assuming everyone only watched it once, then each ticket sold represents just one person who watched the film.

Therefore, about 1.5 million people would die next weekend, a number greater than the population of San Antonio, Texas, which has 1.47 million residents.

In other words, if all the people who were going to die from seeing Rings this weekend got together to establish a city, it would be the seventh-largest city in the United States, just behind Philadelphia. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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