UPDATED: Universal/Miramax/Blumhouse’s Halloween is flying off the tracking charts. Soon after our sources said around $40 million last Thursday for the David Gordon Green-directed movie, tracking services have upped their bets on the horror sequel’s opening to $60M. This morning, Fandango announced that tickets are already on sale for the October 19 release.
According to a Fandango survey of more than 1,000 moviegoers, Halloween was selected as the single most anticipated horror movie of the fall season. (The Predator, which opened to $24.6 million, and The Nun, which opened to $53.8 million, were the No. 2 and No. 3 choices among most anticipated fall horror flicks on the Fandango list.)
The combined success of Venom and A Star Is Born is expected to launch October to a record first weekend over the next three days, besting the time when 20th Century Fox’s The Martian led all films to a Friday-Sunday haul of $151.4M over October 2-4, 2015. Halloween will only catapult the autumn further.
We were concerned that the fall season would lag post summer, but it’s not looking that way.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, September 27: Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax’s Halloween came on tracking this morning and early industry forecasts indicate that the reboot/sequel is easily poised for a $40M-plus –possibly even $50M– 3-day weekend opening on October 19, which will easily deliver the 40-year-old classic horror franchise its best domestic box office debut ever, beating the Weinstein/MGM 2007 reboot which opened to $26.3M.
The latest Halloween is opening close to 40 years from the weekend when John Carpenter’s original bowed on October 25, 1978.
Typically an R-rated pic is a slam dunk with men over 25, however, we hear that Halloween is strong with largely everyone. First choice and definite interest for the pic is strong with men over/under 25 and females under 25; unaided is best with the under 25 set. There’s just something about a classic piece of movie IP when remade right, that just rains cash into multiplexes. This David Gordon Green directed version, which he executive produced and co-wrote with longtime collaborator Danny McBride has their edgy sense of humor woven in, with an auteurish feel as it follows Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) four decades later in the wake of Michael Myers’ murders. Myers remains alive in jail while Strode has barricaded herself in the woods. Jeff Fradley also co-wrote.
For horror pics, the top domestic openings are Warner Bros.’ It ($123.4M), Paramount/Skydance’s World War Z ($66.4M), MGM’s Hannibal ($58M) New Line’s The Nun ($53.8KM), and Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.5M) and there’s a shot that Halloween may break into the group. Anything over $40M puts it ahead of The Conjuring ($41.8M) and The Conjuring 2 ($40.4M).
The audience response for Halloween coming out of its TIFF midnight premiere was electric with critics currently giving it an 85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes off 52 reviews. Check out our TIFF video below when Curtis, McBride, Gordon Green, stars Judy Greer, Andi Matichak and producers Jason Blum, Malek Akkad and Bill Block took the stage.
Counting the latest Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax version, there are 11 titles in the Halloween canon including John Carpenter’s first Halloween starring Curtis, ($47M without inflation), 1981’s Halloween II ($25.5M), 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch ($14.4M), 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers ($17.7M), 1989’s Halloween 5 ($11.6M), 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers ($15.1M), 1998’s Halloween: H20 ($55M), 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection ($30.3M), 2007’s Halloween ($58.2M) and 2009’s Halloween II ($33.3M).
As we always mention when box office forecasts are this far out, these projections can go up or down by opening day.