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‘Halloween’ Chops the Box Office to Pieces With a $77.5 Million Dollar Debut

Expectations were high for the long-awaited reboot of John Carpenter’s Halloween, and it is safe to say that the film didn’t disappoint at the box office with a $77.5 million three-day debut.  The total was the second largest October opening weekend of all-time, coming less than $3 million shy of the record set by Sony’s Venom (early reports had the film beating Venom, but that slippery symbiote held on to his title, at least for now).

With a $10 million dollar production budget, Halloween (2018) was a major success for Universal and Blumhouse, and the film is sure to add to its total over the next few weeks with little horror competition on the horizon. Halloween (2018) fared well with critics (currently 80% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and a good, but not great B+ Cinemascore with fans.  The horror community has been less than impressed with the film, which could add up to a larger drop-off than expected next week (look no further than HNN’s John Evans, whose 2000 word plus review gives you every reason to wait to see Halloween at home at best, and perhaps skip it at worst). read more

‘Venom’ Sets a New October Record at the Weekend Box Office

Despite primarily negative reviews and the lack of other spider-characters to rely on, Sony’s Venom set box office records this weekend, earning over $80 million in receipts.  Venom now holds the record for the highest grossing 3-day opening in October, defeating the previous record holder (Gravity) by almost $25 million dollars.

This total is even more impressive considering that Venom’s current aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes is only 32%.  The film has performed better with fans however, who gave the nasty symbiote a B+ on Cinema Score and a 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.  Venom should see a steep decline next weekend, but with few superhero-related properties on the horizon, the film will certainly improve on its already healthy take at the box office. read more

‘The Nun’ “Preys” on the Competition at Weekend Box Office

The Nun kicked off a busy fall season at the box office by accumulating an estimated $53.5 million at this weekend’s box office, destroying the previous Conjure-verse’s opening weekend record set by the original The Conjuring with $41.8 million in the summer of 2013.

The debut is also the second largest September opening ever, going past the $48.4 million set by Hotel Transylvania 2 in 2015. The Nun could not come close to last fall’s king of the horror world, It, however, which took in $123.4 for its opening weekend.  The Nun’s $53.5 million debut was also the second largest opening ever for an R-rated horror film, again placing behind Warner Brother’s  It.  The Nun was also a hit internationally, bringing in $77.5 million, totaling $131 million worldwide. read more

‘The Meg’ Still Swimming Upstream; ‘Happytime Murders’ Leaves No One Smiling at Box Office

Who knew that that dang giant shark would have legs (or fins I guess) at the box office!  The gonzo shark movie finished second at the weekend box office for the second straight week, netting another $13 million for a grand total of $105 million on the domestic front.

The budget for The Meg was rather high (north of $130 million) and this fact lead many box office prognosticators to doubt the film’s profit potential, but due to a shrewd marketing campaign, little competition during the month of August, and Megalodon-sized return overseas, The Meg is one of the biggest surprises of the year so far. read more

‘The Meg’ Chomps on the Competition; ‘Slender Man’ Thin at Weekend Box Office

The Meg surprised a lot of experts and journalists this weekend by making more than double its estimated take at the weekend box office, finishing with an estimated $44.5 million dollars.

The monster shark tale not only won the domestic box office this weekend, but it also performed very strongly overseas with an additional $97 million in ticket sales.    The high international number is not as surprising as the domestic victory however, as the film was a joint venture between Warner Brothers, China Media Capital and TVB, so it was a film that was designed to appeal to the overseas market (particularly Asian ticket buyers). read more

‘The Darkest Minds’ Stays in the Shadows at Box Office; ‘The First Purge’ Becomes the Series Most Profitable Entry

The adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s popular YA science fiction book series The Darkest Minds had a hard time keeping the lights on at this weekend’s box office, as the potential franchise starter landed with a thud, only managing an estimated $5.8 million and an eighth place debut.

The trailers hyped the connections to Stranger Things‘ Dan Cohen and Shawn Levy (who served as producers for the film), but that couldn’t entice fans into the theater this weekend.  With an reported budget of $34 million dollars before promotional costs, the film’s worldwide total should allow the film to break even or earn a small profit, but it looks like Hollywood still hasn’t learned that YA novel series are not the place to “mine gold” anymore (and the 18% score at Rotten Tomatoes certainly didn’t help). read more

‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ Doesn’t Have Any Friends at the Box Office

Even two different endings were not enough to make a dent in the summer box office this weekend as Unfriended: Dark Web opened with only $3.5 million.

Unfriended: Dark Web finished in 9th place at this weekend’s box office, far below its predecessor.  The original Unfriended sold almost $16 million dollars worth of tickets in 2015 and opened on over 700 more screens than Dark Web.  The drop in screen count was a surprise, but not unheard of due to the amount of successful blockbusters so far this season that have held on to screens longer than usual. read more

Sony Moves ‘Slender Man’ Release Date Once Again; Will Now Open on August 10

The trials and tribulations of Sony’s Slender Man have been well-documented by Horror News Network, but just when it looked like the maligned film would disappear from the release schedule entirely, Slender Man has been pushed up two weeks to August 10.

The film will now go head-to-head with another PG-13 horror film debuting on the same date, The Meg.  Screens are at a premium this time of year, so don’t be surprised  if the film gets “limited engagement status” and a minimal screen count. read more

‘The First Purge’ Earns $31 Million at Box Office

It was an uphill battle for The First Purge, but Universal’s riotous film was still able to manage fourth place at a very competitive (and profitable) summer box office weekend.  The fourth film in the franchise raked in $17 million this weekend, bringing The First Purge’s total to $31 million for the Independence Day week (the film opened on Wednesday).

How does this entry stack up against the previous films?  The weekend box office is the softest in the franchise’s history, but this is certainly due to the early opening.  The film will most likely pass the original Purge’s worldwide totals ($89.3 million), but the film will be hard pressed to top either The Purge: Anarchy or The Purge: Election Night.  Reaching the fourth film in any franchise is certainly an accomplishment, but it does get more and more difficult to lure ticket buyers back to the theater.  Universal made the smart move to inject some life into the series by hiring new director Gerard McMurray (and you can read an interview with the director right here), but it might not be enough to cement the film’s solvency going forward. read more

‘Hereditary’s’ Second Weekend Holds Up at Box Office

Much has been written about the polarizing effect that A24’s Hereditary has had on the horror community (and many predicted a sharp decline at the box office after the first weekend), but Ari Aster’s creepy take on family dynamics and satanism is still bringing fans into the theater, earning just over $7 million this past weekend.

While the weekend take is far from staggering, the fact that Hereditary only dropped by 48% is significant in light of the mixed fan reaction.  In comparison, most horror films will drop anywhere from 55% to 65% of their initial take after their first week of release. With no horror films on the horizon until The First Purge on July 4th, Hereditary should continue to attract curious fans (even those outside of the normal horror realm) over the next few weeks. read more