Halloween Kills Looks Like a Survivor

New installment of horror series tops industry expectations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 17, 2021 11:57 AM CDT
Updated Oct 17, 2021 12:30 PM CDT
Halloween Kills Has a Healthy Opening
Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer appear in a scene from "Halloween Kills."   (Ryan Green/Universal Pictures via AP)

Halloween Kills may be available to watch at home, but the latest installment in the Michael Myers saga is making a killing at the North American box office in its first weekend in theaters. Universal's David Gordon Green-directed film scared up $50.4 million from 3,705 locations, according to studio estimates Sunday. It far surpassed expectations, which had the opening pegged for the $30 million range, the AP reports. It also easily bested its main competition, which included the James Bond pic No Time to Die in its second weekend, and Ridley Scott's medieval epic The Last Duel. Both are playing exclusively in theaters.

The horror film picks up where Green's 2018 Halloween left off, on the same bloody night, with Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode. Some were surprised when the studio decided to release Halloween Kills simultaneously in theaters and on NBC Universal’s Peacock for premium subscribers, but the day-and-date strategy does not seem to have hurt its box office haul. Before Halloween Kills, which had a reported $20 million production budget, the biggest day-and-date opening of the year was Warner Bros.' Godzilla vs. Kong, which grossed $32.2 million in its first weekend while also being available on HBO Max. It's a best for a pandemic-era horror opening, narrowly beating out A Quiet Place Part II.

No Time to Die slid into second place with $24.3 million, which is down only 56% from its first weekend and brings its total to $99.5 million. Further down the charts is The Last Duel, Scott's 14th-century drama starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer, and Adam Driver, which has earned only an estimated $4.8 million for the Walt Disney Co. from 3,065 locations despite positive reviews. Next week, Warner Bros.' big-budget adaptation of Dune opens in theaters and on HBO Max, as does Disney's Ron's Gone Wrong and Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch. Down the road, there are plans for a third Halloween film to close out the modern Michael Myers trilogy.

(More box office stories.)

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