Blumhouse’s partnership with Universal has yielded a new studio opening weekend record, as David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” has posted an opening of $77.5 million from 3,928 screens.
On Friday, the sequel to John Carpenter’s famed slasher film was flirting with breaking the October opening weekend record set by “Venom” two weeks ago with $80 million. But Saturday’s results have made that less likely, as they fell 18 percent from Friday’s $33.2 million total.
But “Halloween” is still rising above both tracker expectations and the Blumhouse opening weekend record of $52.5 million set by “Paranormal Activity 3” in 2011. It’s also the second-best opening set by any R-rated horror movie — last year’s “It” remake holds the record with $123 million — and is among the top 10 openings for all R-rated films.
Audiences are expected to continue to pour in through the rest of the Halloween season, as Blumhouse’s thrifty budget strategy has paid off again with a $10 million price tag. The film has a B+ on CinemaScore and 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with the opening weekend audience skewing somewhat older than usual for Blumhouse fare thanks to the film’s nostalgia appeal — 59 percent of the audience was over the age of 25, compared to 38 percent for “Insidious: The Last Key.”
Elsewhere on the charts, the two films that dominated October before Michael Myers’ arrival, “Venom” and “A Star Is Born,” are neck-and-neck for the No. 2 spot. Both films are projected for a total in the $18-19 million range this weekend, with “A Star Is Born” having the edge with $19.3 million in its third weekend and a $126.3 million domestic total with $200 million grossed worldwide. “Venom” is estimated for an $18.4 million weekend with a $171.4 million domestic total.
In fourth is Sony’s “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” dropping 39 percent for a second weekend total of $9.7 million and a 10-day total of $28.7 million.
Completing the top five is Universal’s “First Man,” which has been unable to sustain audience interest. With a second weekend total of $8.5 million, the film has a 10-day total of $30 million, 30 percent behind the $43 million 10-day total of “Argo,” which released in October 2012. Profits for this $60 million space biopic will likely remain small unless audience interest can be reignited by awards consideration for leading man Ryan Gosling.
Finishing outside the top five but still with a solid opening is Fox’s “The Hate U Give,” which earned $7.5 million from approximately 2,300 theaters. It has a $10.5 million total after spending two weeks in limited release.
While numbers are still being crunched, total weekend grosses are expected to reach at least $160 million, which would be the second-highest weekend in October box office history behind only the $177 million made two weekends ago when “Venom” opened in theaters. Prior to this weekend, total grosses for the month were six percent ahead of the all-time best October set in 2014 with $758 million, and that gap should widen with 2018 becoming the best October ever by the end of next weekend.