Halloween is proving unfruitful for a pair of new horror movies, as “Dune” repeats its top performance at the domestic box office this weekend.
Edgar Wright’s “Last Night in Soho” and Scott Cooper’s “Antlers” both had muted debuts, leaving the No. 1 spot open for Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s fabled sci-fi novel. After a busy October, the box office is ending the month on a quiet note. After all, this marks the first Halloween weekend since COVID-19 restrictions have dramatically eased in North America, meaning that many people are likely taking this opportunity to trick-or-treat or hold holiday parties for the first time in two years.
“Dune” added another $5 million to its domestic haul on Friday, heading towards a sophomore weekend total of $15.5 million. The film, which stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Zendaya, also opened simultaneously on HBO Max. Legendary Entertainment, the main financial resource behind the film, greenlit a sequel on Tuesday. “Dune: Part 2” is scheduled to hit theaters on Oct. 20, 2023 and is expected to have an exclusive theatrical run.
The projected 62% drop-off from “Dune’s” opening weekend is fairly solid, especially considering the film’s hybrid digital release. Many other Warner Bros. films that simultaneously debuted on HBO Max this year have positively cratered in their second weekends, such as “Mortal Kombat” (a 73.3% drop), “Space Jam: A New Legacy (a 69.1% drop) and “The Suicide Squad” (a 71.5% drop). “Godzilla vs. Kong,” another co-production between Warner Bros. and Legendary, dropped 56.1% in its second weekend, eventually going on to cross the $100 million mark at the domestic box office.
Opening ahead of both new horror debuts is Funimation Films’ “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission,” which is projected to garner $7.1 million across 1,600 screens. The film, which released in Japan over the summer, is the third entry in the “My Hero Academia” anime movie series. The haul continues an upward trend for the franchise at the domestic box office, as 2018’s “Two Heroes” and 2019’s “Heroes Rising” drew $1.39 million and $5.89 million, respectively.
Meanwhile, Focus Features’ “Last Night in Soho” is headed towards a muted opening of $4.3 million at 3,016 theaters. Helmed by “Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright, the film stars Thomasin McKenzie as an aspiring fashion designer who transports back in time to 1960s London and finds herself inhabiting the body of nightclub singer Sandie, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. The movie has received mostly positive reviews, landing a 72% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Opening a slot beneath “Soho” is Searchlight Pictures’ “Antlers,” which drew $1.7 million on Friday in 2,800 theaters. Scott Cooper’s thriller centers on a small town teacher (Keri Russell) and her police officer brother (Jesse Plemons) who discover that a student is keeping a supernatural creature in his house. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film drew a lukewarm response from critics and general audiences weren’t far behind — the horror film was assigned a “C+” rating by CinemaScore.
After plummeting 71% in its second weekend, Universal’s “Halloween Kills” is holding much more steadily, drawing in an audience to ring in its eponymous holiday. The slasher sequel is headed for a $7.89 million weekend, dropping only 39% from its sophomore outing.
MGM and UAR’s “No Time to Die” continues to put up healthy holds. Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond is projected to earn a three-day haul of $7.89 million, a mere 35% fall from its previous weekend.
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” will round out the weekend’s top five. Sony’s symbiote sequel is projected to increase its total domestic cume to $190 million this weekend, inching its way to becoming the second film to cross $200 million at the domestic box office after Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
Also expanding this weekend is Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch.” The Searchlight Pictures release is projected to earn $2.12 million over the weekend from 788 theaters. The film enjoyed a robust debut with its limited opening last weekend, drawing the best per-theater average of any domestic opening during the pandemic.