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‘Halloween’ to Stay on Top in Pre-Holiday Weekend With $32 Million

There’s still plenty of interest in Laurie Strode’s struggle against Michael Myers.

The second weekend of Jamie Lee Curtis’ “Halloween” is projected to generate about $32 million, early estimates showed Friday. That marks a 59% decline from its $76.2 million opening — a decent result for the well-received horror sequel.

The 11th “Halloween” movie will dominate moviegoing at multiplexes during the pre-Halloween session and should wind up the weekend with around $126 million in its first 10 days, followed by the fourth weekends of “A Star Is Born” and “Venom.”

Lionsgate’s launch of action-thriller “Hunter Killer,” which captured a moderate $420,000 in Thursday night previews, looks likely to be battling for fourth place at about $7 million with Sony holdover “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.”

Hunter Killer,” starring Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, and Common, has been forecast to collect between $5 million and $9 million this weekend when it launches at 2,720 sites. “Hunter Killer,” based on the novel “Firing Point,” follows a group of Navy SEALs deep in the Arctic Ocean on a mission to rescue the captured Russian president.

“Halloween,” an R-rated slasher film from Universal, posted the second-highest October launch of all time last weekend, bested only by the $80 million opening of Tom Hardy’s “Venom” on Oct. 5-7. Anticipation has been high among moviegoers for “Halloween,” with Curtis returning as Strode to face off against serial killer Myers. Given its $10 million production budget, the sequel is on track to be hugely profitable.

The new “Halloween” is a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s original 1978 movie in which Curtis’ teenage babysitter character survived multiple attacks by the deranged Myers. It was the feature film debut for Curtis — daughter of Oscar-nominated actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh — and a box office smash with $70 million worldwide on a $300,000 budget. The new movie finds Myers, portrayed again by Nick Castle, escaping custody and heading for Haddonfield, Il., for a final showdown with Strode on Halloween night.

“Hunter Killer” is the only wide release during the pre-Halloween weekend. Universal is launching spy spoof “Johnny English Strikes Again” at 544 screens with estimates showing about $1.2 million. The third installment in the Rowan Atkinson series debuted earlier this month overseas and has pulled in $97 million.

Pure Flix’s faith-based war drama “Indivisible” is eyeing around $1.3 million at 844 venues. Directed by David G. Evans, the movie tells the true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner after his deployment to Iraq.

“Venom” should wind up the weekend with about $186 million in 24 days domestically for Sony. Awards contender “A Star Is Born” should be at about $146 million for Warner Bros. in that same period.

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