So, there really wasn’t much of a doubt this weekend. Everyone KNEW what was going to top the chart. Spoiler alert, it’s “Halloween”. What we didn’t know is how big or small that domination would be. Would this horror sequel turn in a modest take closer to its competition or would it wipe the floor with the other contenders? At one point it even looked like “Halloween” would top October’s other smash hit “Venom” for the biggest October opening of all time. So how well did “Halloween” really do? Let’s examine that and the other new entries on the chart in this week’s Box Office Breakdown for the weekend of Oct. 19-21.
While there were some predictions that had “Halloween” topping “Venom’s” October record the horror sequel from Universal didn’t quite live up to those standards but turned in an impressive first weekend tally nonetheless. “Halloween” grossed $77.5 million domestically on a $10 million budget. Over the course of a single weekend the film because the second highest debut weekend total for an R-rated film, behind only “It” and overpowering “the Nun”, and also delivered the largest October opening day ever which was previously held by “Venom”, it became the biggest opening for with a female lead and biggest opening for a film with a female lead older than 55 as well as the biggest opening for any film in the franchise. “Halloween” received great reviews from both fans and critics, becoming the second highest rated movie in the franchise on Rotten Tomatoes with an 80% rating compared to the original film’s 95% approval rating. It’s clear this is one horror sequel that was not only wanted but lived up to the hype surrounding it as few genre sequels do. If you’re interested in my thoughts on the film you can read my review of “Halloween” here.
In a rather rare turn of events the popular Oscar contender “A Star is Born” holds the number two spot for the third straight week with a $19.3 million domestic take over the weekend. That puts the film in the top 70 for highest grossing films to never top the box office and it still has an entire awards season ahead of it should it truly garner the nominations expected of it. “Venom” toppled after its two-week reign ending in third with an $18.1 million take while “Goosebumps 2: A Haunted Halloween” showed impressive staying power with a fourth place finish. Another Oscar contender, “First Man” rounded out the top five. Fox’s “The Hate U Give” fell just short of the top five after an impressive top ten entry last week on limited release earning $7.5 million and landing in sixth. Expect my review of that film coming soon. Following ‘The Hate U Give” on the chart was “Smallfoot”, “Night School” and “Bad Times at the El Royale”. Rounding out the top ten was the only other new entry on the chart, “The Man & the Gun” which earned $1.7 million. I also plan to review that film in the near future as well.
While I fully expect “Halloween” to have great holdover potential, especially with the actual holiday it was named after right around the corner, there is some intriguing competition on the way. The Girard Butler-led action thriller “Hunter Killer” will debut along with the Christian film “Indivisible”. I have no plans on seeing the later. No offence meant to anyone, but religious themed films rarely intrigue me enough to see them. Just my personal taste I guess. However you can look for my review of “Hunter Killer” this weekend and we’ll see if “Halloween” repeats this time next week.