Halloween did not end up claiming the box office record for biggest October opening weekend that Venom snatched up two weeks ago with its own $80 million haul. That’s about the only real complaint anyone could have with the bow of the newest film from the director of The Sitter, which was a gargantuan success opening to $77.5 million. That’s by far the biggest opening weekend for a Blumhouse Productions release and it’s already the eighth biggest movie ever for the studio. To boot, it’s the second-biggest opening weekend ever for a horror movie, only behind last year’s It (remember how Paranormal Activity 3’s $52.5 million opening weekend was the biggest opening weekend for a horror movie for so long?) It’s already the fifth biggest movie ever for Jamie Lee Curtis and sometime this week Halloween will surpass Pineapple Express to become the biggest movie ever for director David Gordon Green. As if all that weren’t enough, it’s handily the biggest opening weekend ever for a Miramax movie and has already become the biggest Halloween movie of all-time in terms of domestic gross.
Franchise revivals have become a common element (well, even more common than they already were) in the pop culture landscape but more often than not, it helps to have original cast members along in these revivals to goose nostalgia among audience members and add a sense of legitimacy to the proceedings. Having Jamie Lee Curtis occupy the lead role of this new Halloween movie and having it be about her character preparing for the return of Michael Myers helped make Halloween feel like The Force Awakens of horror movies in its marketing and with no other horror movies opening in October, the landscape was primed for the arrival of a major new horror event movie like Halloween.
In second place this frame was A Star Is Born, which grossed another $19.3 million this frame, a 32% third-weekend drop, which is actually an improvement over the third-weekend dips of early October sleeper hits The Martian and Gone Girl. Having now grossed $126.3 million, about three times its opening weekend over 17 days of release, it looks like A Star Is Born is headed for a final domestic gross of at least $170 million. Right behind that musical drama was Venom, which dropped 48% in the face of Michael Myers and grossed another $18.1 million for a phenomenal domestic haul of $171.1 million. Venom is headed for a domestic total of at least $215-220 million.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween grossed another $9.7 million this weekend, a 38% drop from opening weekend, a larger drop than the 34% drop of the first movie. Goosebumps 2 has now grossed $28.8 million after ten days of release. Meanwhile, hopes that First Man would have the box office legs of Bridge of Spies from three years ago got dashed this weekend as the Neil Armstrong movie dropped 46% this frame, a noticeably larger drop than the 26% second-weekend dip of Bridge of Spies. First Man added $8.5 million this weekend for a $29.9 million ten-day domestic total.
The Hate U Give expanded into wide release this weekend and grossed a middling $7.5 million, one of the weaker wide release launches for a film adaptation of a YA-novel (though it at least had a bigger opening weekend than far more expensive far in this subgenre like The Darkest Mind and Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant). The Hate U Give has now grossed $10.6 million, a sum that’s surely beneath 20th Century Fox’s expectations, but on a $23 million budget, they won’t lose too much, if any, money on this widely acclaimed motion picture.
In its fourth weekend of release, Smallfoot dipped just 27% this weekend, the smallest weekend-to-weekend hold in the top twelve. Adding $6.6 million to its domestic haul, Smallfoot has now taken in $66.3 million, putting about 12% ahead of Storks in terms of domestic gross at the same point. Night School also held well this frame as it dipped just 35% to gross another $5 million for a $66.9 million domestic gross. Bad Times At The El Royale couldn’t save face after its dismal opening weekend in its second frame as it dropped 53% to add $3.3 million for a domestic gross of just $13.3 million.
Rounding out the top ten was The Old Man & The Gun, which finally went into wide release but grossed just $2 million at 802 locations for a per-theater average of $2,556 and a domestic gross of just $4.2 million to date. Meanwhile, Free Solo took in another $965,000 at 253 locations for a per-theater average of $3,814 and a domestic total of $3.5 million. Also making a long overdue expansion into wide release this weekend was The Sisters Brothers, which grossed a disastrous $742,014 at 1,141 locations for a per-theater average of $650 and a domestic gross of just $1.9 million. Colette grossed another $585,020 from 520 locations for a per-theater average of $1,125 and a domestic gross of $3.6 million.
Expanding into 48 locations this weekend was Beautiful Boy, which grossed another $439,056 for a per-theater average of $9,147 and a domestic total of $722,008. And now we come to a horde of limited release newcomers! The biggest of these newbies was Mid90s, which grossed $249,500 from 4 locations for a per-theater average of $62,375, the third best per-theater average of 2018 (A24 now has the two biggest non-documentary opening weekend per-theater averages of 2018). Can You Ever Forgive Me? grossed $150,000 from 5 locations for a per-theater average of $30,000, a slightly better opening weekend than the one seen by fellow Fall 2018 Fox Searchlight title The Old Man & The Gun last month. Next up we find Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife, which got off to a solid $105,614 star from 4 locations for a per-theater average of $26,404. That’s the second biggest traditional limited release opening weekend for an IFC Films release since Boyhood, only behind The Death of Stalin and the sixteenth best opening weekend ever for one of the studios titles. Finally, What They Had absolutely bombed in its opening weekend as it took in just $18,845, the second-worst opening weekend ever for a Bleecker Street release, from 4 locations for a per-theater average of just $4,711.
The top 12 movies this weekend grossed $160.3 million, the biggest 42nd weekend of any given year and the second-biggest October weekend of all-time. With massive hits like Venom, Halloween and A Star Is Born around, October 2018 will have no trouble surpassing the $758 million sum of October 2014 to become the biggest October in the history of the domestic box office.