Happy 35th Anniversary Friday The 13th!

On May 9, 1980, the Horror genre changed forever as Sean Cunningham's innovative independent killer in the woods film Friday The 13th was released in theaters. Scaring audiences across the United States and around the world, the bloody whodunit made Hollywood studios look at Horror films in a completely different light. No longer would these "slasher" films be relegated to drive-in theaters with low print counts in circulation. Crystal Lake would become synonymous with fear and audiences would come to know the name Voorhees as iconic figures Horror cinema.

Friday The 13th opened on 1,127 screens on May 9, 1980 and was tops at the box office with a three-day opening gross of $5.8 million. The release date was genius as it afforded the burgeoning Horror property a chance to earn money before the beginning of the summer movie season (a season that now seems to begin in April). What was remarkable to industry observers was the film’s lasting staying power among movie-goers. Friday the 13th would go on to place second behind only The Empire Strikes Back as the top money-earner of the summer. Sean Cunningham's film would also go on to out-gross much larger studio genre projects such as Brian DePalma’s Dressed to Kill and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. By the end of its theatrical run, Friday The 13th would pull in an unbelievable $39.7 million domestic run at the box office with over 14 million tickets sold.

This site is dedicated to the Friday The 13th franchise as a whole, but the roots of the series are indeed planted in the original film. The 35th Anniversary is a huge milestone for a film that no one ever thought would become anything more than an afterthought a few weeks after it's release.

As we celebrate the birth of the franchise today, check out some great images of Friday The 13th 1980. What are your favorite memories of the original film?

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