Weekend Box Office: 'Halloween' Hunts Down $32M, Hits Monstrous $127M
Blumhouse and Universal's Halloween has no doubt decided on its All Hallows' Eve costume — profit monster.
Thanks in large measure to Venom, A Star Is Born and now Halloween, domestic revenue has already hit a record for the month, or $789.9 million, well above the previous best set in 2014 ($757 million).
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A direct sequel to the classic 1978 slasher pic, Halloween grossed a stellar $32 million from 3,990 theaters in its second weekend, where it stayed atop the chart to finish Sunday with a domestic tally of $126.7 million. That's the best showing for an R-rated horror pic since It a year ago, as well as one of the top showings of all time for the genre, not adjusted for inflation.
Halloween also scared up headlines internationally, where it beat Venom to top the foreign chart with $25.6 million from 47 markets for an offshore total of $45.6 million and $172.3 million globally. Another big winner overseas was Fox's Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which sang its way to a $12.2 million debut in the U.K. following its premiere in London last week and ahead of its domestic launch later this week. The U.K. opening came in 127 percent ahead of the music-infused A Star Is Born, 95 percent ahead of The Greatest Showman and 46 percent ahead of La La Land.
Other notable achievements for Halloween in North America: It scored one of the top showings ever for the Halloween corridor. And the pic has fast become Blumhouse's top-grossing title behind Get Out and Split. Halloween's sophomore outing was no doubt aided by getting a berth in some Imax theaters that were previously showing Universal's troubled astronaut drama First Man.
Directed by David Gordon Green and costing just $10 million to produce before marketing, Halloween dropped 58 percent, a strong hold for a slasher or horror title. Box-office analysts say Halloween — which features Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as the iconic Laurie Strode — is the rare picture that has already reached profitability.
Holdovers A Star Is Born and Venom also continued to do scary business in their fourth outings.
A Star Is Born, from Warner Bros., stayed at No. 2 with $14.1 million from 3,904 locations for a domestic tally of $148.7 million. Overseas, where it isn't singing quite as loudly, the remake crossed the $100 million mark over the weekend after earning $17.6 million from 75 markets for a foreign cume of $104.6 million and $253.3 million globally.
Sony's Venom followed domestically with $10.8 million from 3,567 theaters for a North American total of $187.3 million. Better yet, the superhero pic sailed past the $500 million mark globally after earning another $17.3 million offshore from 65 markets for a foreign total of $321.1 million and $504.8 million worldwide.
Halloween wasn't the only spooky entry that enticed moviegoers as the actual holiday approaches. Sony's family-friendly Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween earned $7.5 million from 3,723 cinemas in its third weekend for a domestic cume of $38.3 million and worldwide take of $62.5 million.
Goosebumps 2 ended up beating newcomer Hunter Killer, starring Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman and Common. The submarine action pic from Lionsgate and Millennium rounded out the top five with a muted $6.7 million from 2,720 theaters.
Hunter Killer, which earned an A- CinemaScore, follows an American submarine captain who tries to help stop a Russian coup that would topple that country's president. He assembles a team of Navy SEALs to rescue the kidnapped president and stop World War III from breaking out. Lionsgate acquired the rights from Millennium.
Fox 2000's acclaimed YA film adaptation The Hate You Give came in sixth in its second weekend in wide release with $5.1 million from 2,375 theaters for an early total of $18.3 million. The movie hopes to have a long run throughout awards season.
Hate You Give managed to beat Universal's awards hopeful First Man, which continued to struggle in its third weekend, grossing $4.9 million from 2,959 theaters for a total of $37.9 million domestically. Internationally, the film earned $6.3 million from 50 markets for a tepid foreign tally of $36.6 million and $74.5 million worldwide.
Most major studios avoid the weekend before Halloween in terms of high-profile nationwide releases, since consumers are focused on parties, pumpkin patches and other spooky distractions.
Universal and Working Title chose only a small footprint — or 544 cinemas — for Johnny English Strikes Again, with Rowan Atkinson returning as the lovable, accidental secret agent. The movie is considered an international play, earning a strong $107.7 million overseas. Domestically, it didn't make much of a dent, grossing $1.6 million.
The new indie faith-based film Indivisible, opening in 830 locations in the U.S., struggled in its launch with an estimated $1.5 million. The pic, distributed by Pure Flix, is based on the true story of an Army chaplain and his wife who fight to save their marriage with the help of God.
With awards season heating up, there was a flurry of new titles debuting at the specialty box office, including Luca Guadagnino's prestige horror remake Suspiria (Amazon Studios), starring Dakota Johnson, Mia Goth, Chloe Grace Moretz and Tilda Swinton.
Suspiria scored the top opening average of 2018 so far, or $89,903 from two theaters. That's the best opening average since — as fate would have it — Guadagnino's Call Me by Your Name ($103,233) in November of last year. Suspiria even bested Guillermo del Toro's Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, which opened in early December 2017 to a screen average of $83,282.
Among other award contenders, Lee Chang-dong's Burning (Well Go USA) — South Korea's entry for best foreign-language film in this year's Oscar race — reported an opening per-screen average of $14,325 from two theaters, while Sweden's Oscar submission, Ali Abbassi's Border, premiered in seven locations for a per-screen average of $10,224. Neon is handling Border stateside.
Maryam Keshavarz's drama Viper Club (Roadside Attractions), starring Susan Sarandon, didn't fare as well. The film bowed in three cinemas for a location average of $4,698.
by Pamela McClintock
by Richard Newby