Weekend Box Office (October 19 - 21, 2018)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Fans rallied for fight night to see Jamie Lee Curtis take on Michael Myers in an epic rematch as the horror sequel Halloween crushed the competition at the North American box office opening at number one with a colossal $77.5M, according to estimates. It was the second largest opening weekend ever in October behind only the $80.3M of Venom from just two weeks ago. Halloween also posted the second biggest debut of all-time for any horror movie trailing just the $123.4M of last year's It. This was a monster premiere.

Universal's R-rated chiller averaged a sensational $19,730 from 3,928 locations and marked the second biggest opening this year for an R film beating The Nun's $53.8M and A Quiet Place's $50.2M and ranking only behind Deadpool 2's $125.5M. The horror genre is alive and well with three of its largest opening weekends of all-time occurring all within this year.

Halloween had so much going for it as it entered the marketplace. Curtis provided starpower in this role, reviews were terrific, the brand was still potent, the Blumhouse name added excitement, and the film arrived just two weeks before the titular holiday when fans are in the mood for terror. Competing studios steered clear and did not program any other major new releases for this weekend.

Plus paying audiences have been quite happy with the product giving a B+ grade with CinemaScore, a great mark for this genre. Studio data showed that the crowd was 53% male, 59% over 25, and 53% non-white. With no new horror movies opening next weekend and the Halloween season creeping up upon us, the days ahead look promising with this eventually becoming the third $150M+ blockbuster to come out of this month.

Still showing nice legs in its third weekend was the Oscar contender A Star is Born which dropped only 32% to an estimated $19.3M holding onto second place for a third week in a row. The Lady Gaga-Bradley Cooper hit has now taken in a stellar $126.4M for Warner Bros. If it can continue to hold this well, then it has a good shot at breaking $200M and that's before any re-release after Academy Award nominations are announced.

Dropping down from first to third was the comic book smash Venom with an estimated $18.1M witnessing a reasonable 48% decline. Sony has banked $171.1M to date and the Tom Hardy flick will soon crack the top ten movies of 2018 - a rarity for October releases. A final domestic of around $210M seems possible. Overseas markets collected an estimated $32.3M this weekend sending the international take to $290.7M and the worldwide tally to a hefty $461.8M. China opens on November 9 which should help send the final gross well past the $600M mark and possibly beating big films like The Martian, Logan, and this past summer's MCU film Ant-Man and the Wasp. The entire Spider-Man movie franchise has now grossed a phenomenal $5.3 billion since it began in 2002.

Studios programmed Halloween, A Star is Born, and Venom into the typically slow month of October and found out that summer-like grosses are possible at any time if audiences are given what they really want. The three films have already amassed over $750M worldwide in under three weeks and are well on their way to taking in over $1 billion during the fall box office. That means tons of people are seeing trailers and posters for the upcoming holiday season titles.

The Halloween season offering for younger kids, Goosebumps 2, held up well dropping 39% to an estimated $9.7M lifting the total to $28.8M for Sony. Universal's awards season entry First Man did not display legs after its disappointing debut and fell 47% to an estimated $8.6M in its second weekend. The pricey gamble has banked only $30M and looks to finish in the $50M neighborhood. The slow-moving drama was positioned as a fast-paced action thriller in the TV spots and audiences have been spreading mixed feelings about the pic. Strong competition from Cooper and Gaga for the same audience has also been a major factor.

Fox went nationwide with its high school drama The Hate U Give seeing decent results grossing an estimated $7.5M from 2,303 locations for a $3,257 average. Cume is $10.6M including grosses from the limited run. Kidpic Smallfoot followed with an estimated $6.6M, down just 27%, for $66.4M to date for Warners.

The comedy Night School took in an estimated $5M in its fourth weekend, off 36%, putting Universal at $66.9M. Tumbling 54% in its sophomore session was Bad Times At The El Royale with an estimated $3.3M and $13.3M overall.

Robert Redford's new film The Old Man and the Gun expanded nationwide and jumped into the top ten in the ten spot with an estimated $2.1M from 802 theaters for a mild $2,556 average. Reviews have been quite strong for the Fox Searchlight release.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $157.7M which was up a stunning 106% from last year when Boo 2! debuted at number one with $21.2M; and up 45% from 2016 when Boo! A Madea Halloween opened in the top spot with $28.5M.

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Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Hunter Killer and Johnny English Strikes Again both open.

# Title Oct 19 - 21 Oct 12 - 14 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Halloween $ 76,221,545 3,928 1 $ 19,405 $ 76,221,545 Universal
2 A Star is Born 19,051,082 28,445,205 -33.0 3,884 3 4,905 126,127,328 Warner Bros.
3 Venom 18,043,887 35,006,107 -48.5 3,887 3 4,642 171,063,982 Sony
4 Goosebumps 2 9,721,173 15,802,225 -38.5 3,521 2 2,761 28,810,985 Sony
5 First Man 8,327,135 16,006,065 -48.0 3,640 2 2,288 29,762,185 Universal
6 The Hate U Give 7,602,108 1,736,842 337.7 2,303 3 3,301 10,743,981 Fox
7 Smallfoot 6,576,876 9,066,837 -27.5 3,032 4 2,169 66,327,911 Warner Bros.
8 Night School 4,892,515 7,751,255 -36.9 2,296 4 2,131 66,799,340 Universal
9 Bad Times At The El Royale 3,420,067 7,132,647 -52.1 2,808 2 1,218 13,461,868 Fox
10 The Old Man and the Gun 2,134,481 917,679 132.6 802 4 2,661 4,285,337 Fox Searchlight
11 House with a Clock in Its Walls 1,813,390 3,844,240 -52.8 1,588 5 1,142 65,000,980 Universal
12 Free Solo 1,022,204 890,760 14.8 251 4 4,073 3,605,848 NatGeo
13 Badhaai Ho 820,000 104 1 7,885 820,000 Viva
14 The Sisters Brothers 757,975 263,803 187.3 1,141 5 664 1,986,693 Annapurna
15 Gosnell 640,283 1,162,988 -44.9 511 2 1,253 2,453,903 GVN
16 Colette 619,810 999,713 -38.0 520 5 1,192 3,710,063 Bleecker St.
17 Crazy Rich Asians 539,848 1,037,228 -48.0 402 10 1,343 172,250,049 Warner Bros.
18 The Nun 416,651 1,345,355 -69.0 623 7 669 116,747,614 Warner Bros.
19 Beautiful Boy 415,735 218,888 89.9 48 2 8,661 698,687 Amazon
20 A Simple Favor 359,889 1,329,701 -72.9 492 6 731 52,901,579 Lionsgate
Top 5 $ 131,364,822 $ 104,326,439 25.9
Top 10 155,990,869 126,136,778 23.7
Top 20 163,396,654 134,461,829 21.5
Top 20 vs. 2017 163,396,654 92,706,821 76.3

Last Updated: October 21, 2018 at 2:00PM ET

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