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‘Halloween’ Scares Away Box Office Competition With $32 Million

Halloween” easily stayed No. 1 at the domestic box office in its second weekend as the spooky holiday nears.

Universal and Blumhouse’s slasher film starring Jamie Lee Curtis picked up another $32 million, marking a 58% decline from its impressive debut. Directed by David Gordon Green, “Halloween” crossed $100 million on Friday. The movie pocketed $25 million overseas for a total of $172 million worldwide.

Holdovers “A Star Is Born” and “Venom” also remained in the top five. Warner Bros.’ “A Star Is Born” landed in second place with $14 million, dropping just 26% in its fourth outing. Lady Gaga and Bradley’s musical drama has earned $148 million. The acclaimed movie hit $100 million at the international box office for a global total of $253.2 million. Meanwhile, “Venom,” Sony’s dark superhero film with Tom Hardy, came in third with $10.8 million. That brings its domestic tally to $187 million for a worldwide cume of $508.4 million.

Otherwise, studios generally steered clear of the pre-Halloween frame. Lionsgate and Summit’s “Hunter Killer,” a high-stakes thriller starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman, was the only wide release. It wasn’t able to beat “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” as Sony’s family friendly flick came in fourth place with $7.5 million.

“Hunter Killer” was, at least, able to round out the top five with $6.65 million when it opened in 2,720 locations. The audience, which was predominately male and over the age of 25, gave the film an A- CinemaScore. Critics were far less generous with a Rotten Tomatoes average of 36%.

This weekend’s other new offerings failed to stir up much interest. Pure Flix’s faith-based war drama “Indivisible” fell flat, earning just $1.5 million in 830 theaters.

Elsewhere, Universal’s “Johnny English Strikes Again” pocketed a meager $1.6 million from 544 screens. An underwhelming performance in the States might not matter considering the movie is virtually engineered for international audiences. The third installment in the Rowan Atkinson-led British spy series launched earlier this month overseas, where it has already earned $107 million.

In limited release, Amazon Studios nabbed the highest screen average of the year as Luca Guadagnino’s horror remake “Suspiria” with Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton generated $179,806 from just two locations, or $89,903 per venue.

Does the strong pre-holiday showing mean studios should reconsider sitting out the Halloween weekend? A lot depends on the product, and the “Halloween” sequel hit all the right elements for success — a timely theme, a beloved property and solid execution.

“It is quite appropriate that a movie called ‘Halloween’ would deliver a sweet box office treat to the industry that typically suffers a slowdown on this particular weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with comScore. “Universal picked a perfect release date, inspiring nostalgia and excitement among moviegoers looking for the perfect film to complement their Halloween weekend plans.”

This weekend was up 37.6% over the same frame last year when “Jigsaw” led the domestic box office, according to comScore. As the month winds to a close, October officially hit a new record in North America. The month was up over 50% from the same frame in 2017. This year’s period brought in $789 million, which was enough to top the benchmark previously set by 2014 with $757 million.

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