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411 Box Office Report: Halloween Smashes Franchise Record With $77 Million

October 21, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Halloween Michael Myers

Michael Myers returned with a vengeance at the box office this weekend, with Halloween dominating to place #1. The revival of the venerable horror franchise brought in $77.5 million, destroying the previous franchise opening weekend record of $26.4 million set by Rob Zombie’s 2007 reboot. In fact, the film grossed more in its first weekend than any Halloween film has throughout their full domestic runs. The film’s $91.8 million worldwide start — from $14.3 million overseas — likewise gives the film more worldwide in its opening than any other Halloween film has during the entirety of their theatrical lives.

It goes without saying that this is huge for the film, and for Universal. Heading into the weekend, most had the film pegged at starting off at $65 million or so. But like many hyped and well-liked films, the movie overperformed. Halloween’s success is a result not only of great marketing, but positive critical buzz (80% on Rotten Tomatoes) and good word of mouth. The film scored a B+ CinemaScore, which is very good for a genre that tends to average in the C+ range.

It is very possible that Halloween will suffer some heavy drops in successive weeks, but that is by no means assured. In fact, the good word of mouth makes the film more likely to perform well from week to week, especially with Halloween coming up and a lack of real horror competition. A final domestic gross of $200 million is almost certain, with $225 million easily reachable. On a $10 million production budget plus marketing, this film is already profitable and will make big money for the studio. Expect Michael Myers to return in the not-so-distant future.

Halloween’s success didn’t do much damage to A Star Is Born, which eased an admirable 32% in its third weekend to $19.3 million. The musically-themed drama is easily into full-fledged hit territory and should have plenty of gas left in the tank — especially if Warner Bros. positions it properly as an awards contender. The Bradley Cooper-directed film is currently at $126.4 million domestically and $201.1 million worldwide. That’s bug on a $32 million production budget. The film should be able to cross $200 million before it leaves theaters.

Venom is proving to reap continued dividends for Sony. The superhero film weathered Halloween’s onslaught well with $18.1 million, down a solid 48%. The comic book adaptation is now at $171.1 million domestically and $461.8 million worldwide. If it continues to hold on decently, it could end its run at around $215 million or more domestically. That would put it around Ant-Man & The Wasp’s final gross, and on a cheaper budget of $100 million.

Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween took advantage of the upcoming holiday, dropping an admirable 39% in its second weekend to $9.7 million. The supernatural adventure-comedy isn’t going to be making huge money for Sony, but it is performing well enough that it won’t be a money loser. Haunted Halloween currently sits at $28.8 million domestically and $39.9 million worldwide, with a $35 million budget. It should be able to end its run at around $45 million or so, with overseas numbers pushing it to break-even and perhaps a tiny bit of profit.

Neil Armstrong biopic First Man brought in $8.6 million in its second weekend. That number is down 47%, which has to be steeper than Universal was hoping considering the film’s relatively low opening. The Ryan Gosling-starring drama has grossed $30 million domestically and $55.5 million worldwide. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but the film needs to hold on stronger and get more internationally if it wants to make back its $59 million budget plus marketing.

The Hate You Give expanded into wide release, bringing in a pretty solid $7.5 million. The critically-lauded young adult novel adaptation tripled its limited release start from last weekend. It’s not a stellar expansion, but Fox is looking at a longer game for this one. Critics love the film (96% on RT) and audiences agree (A+ CinemaScore), which should help this one hold on well during successive weeks. The film has $10.6 million thus far and should be able to make it to at least $35 million to $40 million domestically — perhaps more if the film gets awards attention. The budget was $23 million.

Smallfoot continues to hold on well, down a mere 27% in its fourth weekend with $6.6 million. The animated comedy stands at $66.4 million domestically and $137.2 million worldwide, moving closer and closer to a profit margin. It should finish with around $85 million domestically. The budget was $80 million.

Night School brought in $5 million in its fourth weekend, down 36% from last weekend’s take. The Kevin Hart and Tiffany Hadish-starring comedy has totaled $66.9 million in the US thus far, and $84.4 million worldwide. It should end its domestic run here at around $75 million, which is a profit against a production budget of $29 million.

The bad times got worse for Bad Times at the El Royale in its second weekend. The neo-noir thriller suffered the biggest fall in the top ten, down 54% in to $3.3 million. That’s not news that Fox wanted to see, particularly since the film didn’t start off too well. The ensemble film is at just $13.3 million in the US and $21.4 million overseas, with a $20 million domestic final gross looking likely. With a $32 million budget, this one isn’t making any money.

Robert Redford’s final film expanded in limited release and claimed the final spot in the top ten. The Old Man & The Gun scored $2.1 million, bringing its total to $4.2 million. While the production budget isn’t known, this one is riding positive critical buzz (90% on RT) and should finish off around $12 million to $15 million.

Halloween will easily rule the box office next weekend, as no major competitors are opening. The biggest new release will be Lionsgate’s submarine thriller Hunter Killer, targeting a high single-digits start. Spy comedy sequel Johnny English Strikes Again will be in the low- to mid-single digits, and faith-based Indivisible will be likely somewhere below that.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Halloween – $77.5 million ($77.5 million total)
2. A Star Is Born – $19.3 million ($126.4 million total)
3. Venom – $18.1 million ($171.1 million total)
4. Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween – $9.7 million ($28.8 million total)
5. First Man – $8.6 million ($30 million total)
6. The Hate U Give – $7.5 million ($10.6 million total)
7. Smallfoot – $6.6 million ($66.4 million total)
8. Night School – $5 million ($66.9 million total)
9. Bad Times at the El Royale – $3.3 million ($13.3 million total)
10. The Old Man & The Gun – $2.1 million ($4.2 million total)

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