Four decades after the release of John Carpenter’s slasher classic, Universal released the latest film in the “Halloween” franchise this weekend with the hope that a resurgence in mainstream interest in horror and nostalgia for old scary movies would deliver a box-office smash. It worked.
“Halloween,” directed by David Gordon Green and featuring Jamie Lee Curtis in a much-anticipated return as the main character Laurie Strode, brought in about $77.5 million domestically, topping the box office in its opening weekend despite a modest budget of around $10 million. The results exceeded analysts’ expectations, which had initially fallen in the $60 million range, and the movie’s performance is especially notable given that October is typically a weak month for ticket sales — although this month, which has already seen “Venom” and “A Star is Born” breaking an October ticket-selling record, has proved surprisingly strong.
The new “Halloween,” the third movie with that title, comes from Blumhouse Productions and was cofinanced by Miramax. It still has a ways to go if it wants to reach the success of the original film, which made about $183.6 million domestically in today’s dollars during its time in theaters, according to Box Office Mojo, remaining the highest-grossing film in the franchise overall when adjusting for inflation.
“Halloween H20: 20 Years Later,” a 1998 sequel, made about $107.3 million in North America, adjusted for inflation, putting it in second place in the franchise; “Halloween II” (1981) is third, with $83.9 million.
In one weekend, the latest “Halloween” is already the fourth-highest-grossing movie in the 11-film franchise when adjusting for inflation, beating out a 2007 reimagining directed by Rob Zombie, which made $77.4 million.
But the latest “Halloween” fell short of the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s “It,” which opened to about $123.4 domestically and went on to make about $700.4 million worldwide — though that film cost about triple the amount of money to make at around $35 million. The new “Halloween” made about $14.3 million internationally this weekend, according to Blumhouse, bringing its global total to around $91.8 million.
Warner Bros.’s “A Star is Born” came in second at the box office this weekend with an estimated $19.3 million domestically, overtaking Sony’s “Venom” for the first time since the two films were released on the same day earlier this month. That brings the estimated cumulative gross for “A Star Is Born” to around $126.4 million. “Venom” made about $18.1 million this weekend, according to comScore, which compiles box-office data, raising that film’s estimated total to about $171 million.