‘Halloween’ scares up a monster opening weekend with $77.5 million premiere

Just when you thought Michael Myers’ ownership of the Halloween season was a thing of the past, the iconic serial killer gets back to his old, murderous ways in a big way.

Director David Gordon Green’s Halloween, a pseudo-reboot (and full-on sequel) to 1978’s genre-defining classic of the same name, carved a bloody path into the record books over the weekend with the second biggest October premiere of all time — less than $3 million shy of the opening weekend for recent record-setter Venom.

The $77.5 million debut for Halloween is also the second biggest opening weekend of all time for an R-rated horror movie, and the 10th biggest opening weekend of any R-rated movie in any genre, falling between 2004’s The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million) and 2007’s 300 ($70.8 million). The film, which has Jamie Lee Curtis reprise her role from John Carpenter’s original film and take on the masked killer who traumatized her four decades earlier on Halloween night, also earned positive reviews from professional critics and general audiences on the way to its record-setting premiere.

# Title  Weekend    U.S. Total 
1. Halloween $77.5M $77.5M
2. A Star is Born $19.3M $126.3M
3. Venom $18.1M $171.1M
4. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween  $9.7M $28.8M
5. First Man $8.5M $29.9M
6. The Hate U Give $7.5M $10.6M
7. Smallfoot $6.6M $66.3M
8. Night School $5M $66.9M
9. Bad Times at the El Royale  $3.3M $13.3M
10. The Old Man & The Gun  $2M $4.2M

The rest of the weekend’s top ten movies were all returning films, with Oscar darling musical A Star is Born continuing its strong run in second place, while the last two weeks’ box-office champion, Venom, dropped to third place. Both films are still doing well, with A Star is Born moving up the ranks of the highest-grossing movies that never finished in first place at the box office for a weekend.

Not a lot is likely to change over the upcoming weekend, which doesn’t feature any high-profile premieres, so we could see at least a few films carry over near the top of the box-office rankings.

Hitting theaters Friday is military drama Hunter Killer, comedy sequel Johnny English Strikes Again, and horror remake Suspiria, among other new releases. It will be interesting to see if Halloween can maintain its momentum right up to — and possibly through — the holiday from which it borrows its name.

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