‘Halloween’ Breaks Records, While ‘A Star Is Born’ Shows October Can Work for Box Office and Awards Play

IndieWire | 10/21/2018 | Staff
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In another hit from a very strong October, “Halloween” is the month’s second-best opening weekend ever (yes, that includes adjusted). Its $77.5 million total is just a little below what “Venom” debuted to two weeks ago, at 10 times the budget.

Meanwhile, “A Star Is Born” became the second release this month to reach $200 million — a first for October. Only four films total have done this — “Meet the Parents,” “Gravity,” “Shark Tale,” and “The Martian” (at 2018 prices).

October - Hunt - Thing - Bulk - Revenue

That puts October 2018 in the hunt for the best ever (though it will need to approach $1 billion to do so, with about $625 million in so far). The only thing holding it back is the bulk of the revenue comes from these three hits; beyond them, there isn’t a lot that’s doing strong business.

“Halloween”

Entry - Start - Film - Halloween - Franchise

The 11th entry has the biggest start of any film in the four-decade “Halloween” franchise, and already has topped the grosses of all but three (adjusted). It will easily be the biggest other than John Carpenter’s 1978 original ($184 million, including an additional $400,000 this weekend).

Though “Halloween” trails “It” as best horror opener (and vies with “Interview of the Vampire” as second best), it’s set a number of records ranging from standard to esoteric. It is the biggest Halloween-adjacent opening, and the biggest start for any film from Blumhouse Prods. (“Paranomal Activity 3” in 2011 was its previous best at $61 million).

Halloween - Record - Attention - Film - Woman

But here’s one “Halloween” record that escaped attention: It will be far the biggest initial gross for any film with a lead played by a woman over 50. She, of course, is Jamie Lee Curtis, who first portrayed the heroine as a teen. (Second best was the recent “Oceans 8” with Sandra Bullock, 54.) Audiences were drawn by Curtis’ link to the original, a film...
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