People want horror in October, and you can’t get a much better brand than the Halloween franchise. The series has wisely (at least from a financial standpoint) discarded the mythology so that newcomers only have to have seen the 1978 original to be caught up with the new installment, and it looks like folks are eager to see Michael Myers wreak some havoc.
THR reports that Halloween launched with $7.7 million from Thursday night previews. That’s a near-record for a horror movie. The record was set last year by It, which earned $11.4 million on it opening night on its way to an opening weekend of $123 million and a worldwide gross of $700 million. Tracking earlier this week had Halloween on pace to earn $50 million, but now THR reports that the film is expected to easily eclipse $70 million even though Universal is keeping with the more modest $50 million tracking.
If Halloween encounters any resistance, it’s only because Venom and A Star Is Born have proven to have legs at the box office. In terms of new openings, Halloween isn’t likely to have any serious competition from expansions of The Hate U Give (which is great, but it doesn’t have Halloween’s branding) and The Old Man & the Gun. Most studios have decided to steer clear of Halloween, opting more for limited releases like Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Mid90s, Wildlife, and What They Had.
It will be interesting to see how much money Halloween can make this weekend and if it has legs. But even if it only reaches the low expectations of $50 million, that’s far beyond what any other Halloween movie has done on an opening weekend, and it almost certainly guarantees another sequel for the long-running horror franchise. Of course, if Halloween has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t keep Michael Myers down.