The studios punt on the last weekend of October, giving Halloween an easy second weekend at the top before the new November releases come in and not really but sort of kind of kick off the holiday movie season.
by Tim Briody
October 28, 2018
There were ostensibly three new releases this weekend, but only one makes the top ten. Meanwhile, two others with relatively low screen counts miss out. Johnny English Strikes Back earned $1.6 million in 544 theaters, which really doesn't matter since it's a $100 million hit worldwide, while we're clearly at low tide for faith based entries as Indivisible from Pure Flix Entertainment earns just $1.5 million in 830 theaters.
That leaves Halloween to easily win the weekend with $32 million, down 58% from its second best October opening. It's earned $126.7 million in two weekends, the first film in the franchise to cross the $100 million mark (it was already the top earner in the franchise's history, before inflation, after opening weekend). All this on a $15 million budget.
The two remaining questions for Halloween are what sort of bump will it get on its namesake holiday (a Wednesday this year) and how will it hold beyond this weekend? I'd actually expect a bigger drop than the 58% decline it saw this weekend, meaning its time is already almost up, but not before getting to at least $150 million total and probably closer to $175 million or so, which is a still a ridiculously impressive performance.
Holding in second place for the fourth weekend in a row is A Star Is Born, again holding incredibly well with a 26% decline to $14.1 million and $148.7 million to date. It's not going to catch Venom, of course, but it's going to make it a lot closer than the opening weekends indicated. A Star Is Born will get its first true direct competition in next weekend's Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, but A Star Is Born has made its statement in its first month of release and will absolutely not be forgotten come awards time.
Venom holds in third place with $10.8 million (down 40%) and $187.2 million in four weekends. The big news this weekend is that it has now crossed $500 million worldwide, so yeah, there's gonna be a sequel. It might need an additional weekend to hit $200 million domestically, but it's going to get there, with probably around $215 million total.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween gets one last shot in with $7.5 million and just a 23% decline. Its total is $38.3 million after two weekends. That's still well behind the first one, which had $56.7 million at this same point in 2015. Of note, Goosebumps actually held surprisingly well the weekend after Halloween (which was a Friday that year), but I don't think the same fate awaits the sequel. There will be a small Wednesday bump as well, but it's going to land with about $55 million total. The original Goosebumps earned $80 million domestically.
The one new release in the top ten, Hunter Killer, earns a middling $6.6 million. A submarine thriller(?) starring Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common and Michael Nyqvist (in his final American film role), Hunter Killer earned terrible reviews (36% Fresh) and was cited as unremarkable in just about every way. It also appears to have sat on the shelf for roughly a year as filming began in mid-2016 (notably before Oldman began filming Darkest Hour, which he won an Oscar for). This will vanish quickly and its $40 million price tag will not be made back.
The Hate U Give holds in sixth place with $5.1 million, down 33% from its wide expansion last weekend. That's a solid number for a film that is going to be largely reliant on word-of-mouth. It's got $18.3 million after two weekends of wide release and I'd expect similar holds for the next few weeks.
First Man continues to drop, with $4.9 million in its third weekend and $37.8 million to date. If the nominations were announced today, the Damien Chazelle film would probably get a slew of nominations, but they're not for a couple more months. So, after a relatively disappointing box office run, First Man may end up lost in the shuffle.
Smallfoot adds $4.7 million in its fifth week, finally passing Night School with $72.5 million to Night School's (in ninth place with $3.2 million) $71.4 million. Both films are winners, to varying degrees.
Mid90s expands to 1,206 theaters and earns $3 million. The directorial debut of Jonah Hill, a coming of age skateboarding movie starring basically nobody, earned mostly positive reviews (78% Fresh) and debuted last weekend in four theaters with a $64,000 per screen average. Obviously that didn't hold here, but $3 million is just fine. Earlier this year, the similarly themed Eighth Grade (also released by A24) managed $13.5 million without ever cracking the top ten. Mid90s is probably on the same trajectory, and it's something to keep an eye on in the next couple weeks, even if it gets bumped out of the top ten by new releases, which is likely.
Powered again by Halloween, your top 12 films this weekend tallied $95.6 million, ahead of last year's $61.3 million when Saw reboot Jigsaw led the Halloween weekend with $16.6 million.
Next weekend things get exciting again with Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, holiday film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and Tyler Perry comedy Nobody's Fool, starring Tiffany Haddish.