Universal/Blumhouse’s “Halloween Kills” isn’t being held back by its release on Peacock, as the film earned $22.8 million from 3,705 screens on Friday and is now projected above tracker projections with a $50 million opening.
While that’s about 35% down from the $76 million opening that its 2018 predecessor earned thanks to the nostalgia factor of seeing Jamie Lee Curtis portray Laurie Strode for the first time in decades, it’s just above the 3-day opening of “A Quiet Place — Part II” back in May and now stands as the largest opening this year for a film that was simultaneously released on streaming at no extra charge. The previous high was “Godzilla vs. Kong” with $31.6 million way back during the early stages of cinema reopening in March.
The one blemish against Michael Myers’ return this weekend is the reception. While the 2018 “Halloween” earned a B+ from audiences on CinemaScore and a 79% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, “Halloween Kills” has slipped to a B- and 42% in those categories. Still, Universal is banking on the film being a prime choice for moviegoers looking for scares through the next two weekends of October.
This weekend’s other major release, 20th Century’s “The Last Duel” is not faring nearly as well, opening in the No. 5 slot with just $1.8 million grossed from 3,065 screens and an estimated $4.5 million opening, below projections of a $7-10 million start. While reception has been strong with a B+ on CinemaScore along with an 86% critics and 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film’s unflinching depiction of sexual assault and its fallout was expected to make the Ridley Scott film a difficult sell for mainstream moviegoers.
Between the two releases are a trio of holdover titles, starting with MGM’s “No Time to Die” at No. 2. The Bond film is holding decently with $7.1 million grossed in its second Friday, giving it a weekend total within projection ranges of $24-25 million and a 10-day domestic total of around $100 million.
As TheWrap noted on Friday, “No Time to Die” is facing more competition from younger moviegoers in the US than it did when it opened a week ahead of North America in the UK and many other international territories. That is a factor in it currently pacing 22% behind the box office total for 2015’s “Spectre.” But early signs point to the film continuing to draw audiences over age 35 this weekend, which is a positive for both MGM and theaters that have been trying to expand the moviegoer base during this reopening period.
In third is Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” with an estimated third weekend total of $15 million. The Marvel magic is allowing this sequel to keep up with its 2018 predecessor with a $167 million estimated domestic total compared to $171 million for the first “Venom.” MGM/UA’s “The Addams Family 2” sits in fourth above “The Last Duel” with an estimated $6.5 million and $41 million grossed after three weekends.