This weekend saw the newest film in the ‘Halloween‘ franchise (named – get this – ‘Halloween’) come within $4m of breaking ‘Venom‘s recent October opening record, leaving it just a ‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero‘ away from Box Office history. This, of course, shouldn’t take away from the remarkable achievement of it grossing $76.2m, which makes it the 3rd biggest horror opening of all time behind ‘It’ and ‘I Am Legend.
How did this happen? Was it the ‘It‘-like nostalgia factor? Another masterstroke in production from Blumhouse? A combination of these factors plus more? Its success after just 3 days trumps what most horrors make in their lifetimes, and its $10m budget ensures profitability and a brighter future for a franchise with nearly a dozen iterations (now outside the official story) before its latest release.
The film saw Jamie Lee Curtis return as Laurie Strode, squaring off against recent prison-escapee and mass-murderer Michael Myers. Forty years after his Halloween killing spree of 1978, Myers (played by Nick Castle) is back to finish off Strode, who managed to escape his clutches. Released in just 23 countries abroad so far in its staggered international release, the film grossed around $14m, including $3.6m from the U.K. and Ireland.
Keeping its October record, but moving down to third in the Box Office charts this weekend was ‘Venom’, earning $18m against ‘A Star is Born’s $19.1m. ‘Venom’ is now just $40m off of reaching $500m worldwide, and has earned $171.1m stateside. The critically-acclaimed ‘A Star is Born’, directed by Bradley Cooper and starring Lady Gaga, has reached a $200m global gross, with $126.1m coming from the U.S.
It’s less happy reading for Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle, as ‘First Man’ continues to disappoint. Their second film together after ‘La La Land’, which made an outstanding $446.1m worldwide, brought in just $8.3m this weekend for a domestic total of $29.8m. A finish around $50m is likely for the film which cost $59m – the first wide-release commercial flop of Chazelle’s directing career.
Opening wide this weekend was 20th Century Fox’s ‘The Hate U Give’, starring Amanda Stenberg and directed by George Tillman Jr. It earned a solid $7.6m from 2,300 cinemas, opening up from 250 last week. The YA crime drama has received rave reviews from critics, and became only the 6th film of the year to get the highest score possible (A+) on Cinemascore.
Made on a $23m budget, ‘The Hate U Give’ is an adaptation of a 2017 best-selling book and offers a socially-relevant critique into race relations in the U.S. Although this may harm it’s international appeal (at the time of this article’s publication, the film has only been released domestically), producers at Fox will hope that a strong word of mouth will aid its stateside growth.
Rounding off the top ten is the surprise package ‘The Old Man & The Gun’, Robert Redford’s last film as an actor before retirement. In a career that’s spanned close to 60 years, the Oscar-winning director (and nominated actor)’s last hurrah grossed $2.1m from only 800 cinemas, for a 4th weekend total of $4.2m.
So close, yet so far for ‘Halloween’. With its opening, who will end on the most domestically between that and ‘Venom’? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.