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Box Office: ‘Halloween’ Slashes Franchise Record With $77.5 Million Launch

Halloween” made a killing in North America, earning $77.5 million when the slasher film launched in 3,928 locations.

David Gordon Green’s “Halloween,” a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic, obliterated the franchise record opening of $26 million, previously held by the 2007 Rob Zombie reboot. “Halloween” also notched the second-best start for an R-rated horror film following “It’s” $123 million launch. It now ranks as the second-highest debut for an October release, set earlier this month by “Venom” with $80 million.

Overseas, “Halloween” generated $14.3 million from 23 markets for a global start of $91.8 million. “Halloween” cost just $10 million, marking another win for Jason Blum and Blumhouse Productions, who co-financed the film with Miramax. “Halloween” surpassed “Paranormal Activity 3” ($52.5 million) for the best debut to date for Blumhouse.

“I am enormously proud of this film,” Blum said in a statement. “‘Halloween’ brings the franchise back to life in a fresh, relevant and fun way that is winning over fans and critics alike.”

Universal’s “Halloween” is the 11th installment in the Michael Myers saga, five of which have starred Jamie Lee Curtis as iconic avenging babysitter Laurie Strode, who is now a grandmother in the newest take. “Halloween” is Curtis’ biggest opening to date, as well as the best horror opening with a female lead. It’s also the biggest debut ever for a movie with a female lead over 55 years old.

Carpenter returned to executive produce and compose the score for the R-rated thriller. The follow-up has garnered some of the best reviews for a series entry yet. While the last few iterations have been panned, “Halloween” holds a 80% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ CinemaScore.

Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, attributed the success of “Halloween” to the 40 year gap between the original.

“There had been quite some time since the original film,” Orr said. “You combine that with the return of a tremendous star in Jamie Lee Curtis, great writing, great filmmaking. All of that comes together as a perfect storm.”

Meanwhile, Fox expanded YA drama “The Hate U Give” to 2,303 screens. It picked up a solid $7.5 million, taking its total earnings to $10.5 million. Based on Angie Thomas’ novel, the movie has been embraced by both critics and audiences with a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score and a rare A+ CinemaScore.

October’s box office receipts continue to impress as “Venom” and “A Star Is Born” both delivered healthy numbers in their third outings. After “Venom’s” two-week reign atop domestic box office charts, Sunday estimates show Sony’s superhero movie led by Tom Hardy was narrowly defeated by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” for second place. “A Star Is Born” pocketed another $19.3 million, while “Venom” follows close behind with $18.1 million for solid domestic totals of $126 million and $171 million, respectively.

“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” also cashed in on the spooky spirit, picking up $9.7 million to land in fourth place. That brings its North American tally to $28 million.

Rounding out the top five is Universal’s “First Man,” which notched $8.5 million this weekend for a disappointing total of $30 million. Damien Chazelle’s space epic, which holds a $60 million price tag, dropped roughly 46% in its second frame.

At the specialty box office, Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “Mid90s,” secured the best screen average this weekend with a massive $62,375 from four theaters, a total of $249,000. A24’s coming-of-age skateboarding drama expands nationwide next weekend.

Elsewehere, Fox Searchlight’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” starring Melissa McCarthy, generated $150,000 when it opened in five locations, averaging a huge $30,000 per screen.

IFC’s “Wildlife” grossed $105,614 from four theaters, which comes out to $26,403 per location. Paul Dano’s directorial debut, co-written with Zoe Kazan, features Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Another surprisingly strong showing puts October 54.5% ahead of the same frame last year, as well as 12% ahead of 2014’s record month, according to comScore. The 2018 box office remains up 10.6% compared to the previous year.

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