Box Office: ‘Halloween Ends’ opens at No. 1 with $41 million

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“Halloween Ends” killed the competition at the box office, grossing $41.25 million from 3,901 North American theaters in its opening weekend.

The film got off to a softer start than expected (projections were closer to $50-55 million), but it’s still impressive considering its simultaneous release on Peacock likely slashed ticket sales. It’s the first film to open above $40 million since Jordan Peele’s “Nope” launched in late July at $44 million.

Jamie Lee Curtis returns as a grandmother with deep-rooted trauma in “Halloween Ends,” which is the supposed ceiling of the long-running slasher series. But the Universal and Blumhouse franchise is still making money, after all, so audiences are unlikely to have seen the latest masked killer Michael Myers.

“Halloween Ends” also faced surprisingly strong competition from Paramount’s chilling thriller “Smile,” which continued its killer run with $12.4 million (a minimal drop of 33%) in its third weekend. Release. The R-rated “Smile” has grossed $71.1 million in North America and $137 million worldwide to date — a chilling result considering it only cost $17 million to produce. At a time when movie theaters are struggling to bounce back from COVID, the horror genre has been a consistent winner.

“Horror movies have done extremely well at the box office,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “Young audiences like to see these films in the cinema.”

But, he adds, “when this kind of success is possible, the greatest value is created by an exclusive theatrical release first, followed by streaming.”

According to NBCUniversal, “Halloween Ends” is Peacock’s most-watched series or movie of all time over a two-day period, but the company refrained from providing data to contextualize this ambiguous milestone. It’s impossible to know how much money is left on the table with a hybrid release, though Peacock has far fewer subscribers than Netflix, HBO Max, and other rivals in the streaming space.

Internationally, “Halloween Ends” added $17.17 million across 77 markets, bringing global ticket sales to $58.42 million.

“It’s great to see Blumhouse dominating this space again,” said Jim Orr, President of National Distribution at Universal. “Jamie Lee Curtis is a force of nature and the public loves him.”

“Halloween Ends” cost $33 million to produce, not including marketing expenses, so it won’t take a ton of plays to turn a profit. But there was hope, at least before the weekend, that the slasher sequel would beat the $49 million debut of its predecessor, 2021’s “Halloween Kills,” which also opened day and date on Peacock. . Instead, “Halloween Ends” landed the lowest debut album of the rebooted trilogy, a sign that enthusiasm is beginning to wane.

“Halloween Ends” landed a grim “C+” CinemaScore, the trilogy’s worst rating. That’s not exactly encouraging since “Halloween Kills”, which got a slightly better “B-“, collapsed 70% on its second release and took in $92 million in North America and $131 million dollars in the world. By comparison, 2018’s “Halloween” erased franchise records when it opened (in a very different theatrical landscape) at $76.2 million. The well-received film ended its theatrical run with $159 million in the United States and $255 million worldwide.

“Despite a ‘C+’ CinemaScore,” says Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian, “‘Halloween Kills’ has huge brand equity that could help support its future prospects.” He adds, “The biggest question for every movie on the market is the imminent debut of ‘Black Adam’.”

Elsewhere, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” landed in third place behind “Halloween Ends” and “Smile”. Sony’s family-friendly animated flick added $7.4 million from 4,350 theaters in its second weekend in theaters, a 34% drop from its debut. So far, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” has grossed around $22.7 million in North America.

“The Woman King,” starring Viola Davis, took fourth place with $3.7 million from 2,565 theaters. The well-reviewed action epic has grossed $59.7 million domestically and $76.5 million worldwide after five weeks in theaters: a solid result for a film aimed at mature audiences. But considering its $50 million price tag, it still has some way to go to turn a comfortable profit in its theatrical run.

“Amsterdam,” from director David O. Russell, took fifth place with $2.9 million from 3,005 theaters, down 56% from its disastrous start of $6.5 million. The $80 million budget film, plagued by negative reviews and minimal buzz, earned just $12 million at the domestic box office and $18.5 million worldwide, making one of the biggest misses of the year.

On the indie front, director Chinonye Chukwu’s historical drama “Till” grossed $240,940 from 16 theaters, averaging $15,059 per location. MGM and United Artists Releasing will expand the film, a moving look at Emmett Till’s mother’s search for justice, to an additional 150-200 locations next weekend.

Meanwhile, “Tár,” an awards contender starring Cate Blanchett as a world-renowned bandleader embroiled in controversy, grossed $360,000 from 36 theaters, which translates to $10,000 a year. venue. The film, from Focus Features, has grossed $585,000 to date and expects to continue its slow expansion in the coming weeks.

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