Halloween is slaying its box office competition.
Universal’s reboot of the venerable horror franchise is on track to sell an estimated $77.5 million in tickets at 3,928 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday, winning the weekend and scoring the second-highest October opening ever, behind Venom’s $80.3 million earlier this month. The new Halloween will also mark the series’ best debut (blowing past the Rob Zombie remake’s $26.4 million) and the second-highest opening for a horror movie, behind last year’s It ($123.4 million).
Heading into the weekend, Halloween had been projected to earn $70 million or more — a strong start for a film that cost about $10 million to make. Critics’ reviews have been largely positive, and audiences gave it a B-plus CinemaScore, which is solid for the horror genre. Overseas, Halloween will collect an estimated $14.3 million this weekend.
Serving as a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s original 1978 Halloween, the new film ignores the nine other sequels and remakes and picks up 40 years later, with Jamie Lee Curtis’ battle-scarred heroine Laurie Strode preparing for her inevitable rematch with masked killer Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney). David Gordon Green directed, from a script he wrote with Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley. Carpenter served as an executive producer and composed the score with his son, Cody Carpenter, and godson, Daniel Davies.
Curtis celebrated the film’s big opening on Twitter:
Rounding out the top five this weekend are Warner Bros’. music-driven romance A Star Is Born, with about $19.3 million; Sony’s superhero movie Venom, with about $18.1 million; Sony’s kid-friendly chiller Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, with about $9.7 million; and Universal’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, with about $8.6 million.
Entering wide release, Sony’s critically acclaimed drama The Hate U Give, based on Angie Thomas’ novel about a black teen who witnesses the police shooting of a childhood friend, will collect an estimated $7.5 million from 2,303 theaters, in line with expectations and good for sixth place. That brings the film’s domestic total to $10.6 million.
In limited release, Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s, is arriving in four theaters with an estimated $249,500, which works out to a robust per-screen average of $62,375. The film is distributed by A24.
Overall box office is up 10.6 percent year-to-date, according to ComScore. See the Oct. 19-21 figures below.
1. Halloween — $77.5 million
2. A Star Is Born — $19.3 million
3. Venom — $18.1 million
4. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween — $9.7 million
5. First Man — $8.6 million
6. The Hate U Give — $7.5 million
7. Smallfoot — $6.6 million
8. Night School — $5 million
9. Bad Times at the El Royale — $3.3 million
10. The Old Man and the Gun — $2.1 million