Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

October 14, 2018

Ickier than Michael Myers.

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Another weekend, another Oscar hopeful makes its debut, so it must be October. First Man underperforms, however, so Venom and A Star Is Born make it a tight race at the top.

Venom is your #1 film for a second weekend, but taking a big drop from last week, sliding 56% to $35.7 million. It's got $142.8 million in the bank after two weekends. The decline isn't really out of the ordinary here. Even though it's a Marvel film (which tend to hold a little bit better than average), unlike the MCU proper it got abysmal reviews, and a B+ CinemaScore shows that audiences weren't all that thrilled with it, either. Still, it's far from a flop, as it has nearly earned its domestic total overseas, and will be over $300 million worldwide by next weekend. This is yet more proof that Marvel can do no wrong, even when the film isn't all that good. It's easily on its way to $200 million domestic, which is probably on the lower end of the spectrum after setting the October opening weekend, record, but Sony's not complaining. They've now got a second Marvel franchise to play with.

A Star Is Born holds onto second place with a much better second weekend than Venom, earning $28 million, down 35% from its opening weekend. With $94.1 million in two weekends, it's an impressive total for the film, and actually boosts its awards chances to some degree (because, sorry, that's how it works). The floor is probably $150 million for the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga film, as older audiences begin to turn out for the music and the romance, and that's probably low. Despite the wide difference in opening weekend, there's a decent chance A Star Is Born earns more than Venom next weekend.

Our first opener lands in third as First Man, also looking for some awards attention, comes in with a disappointing $16.5 million. The Neil Armstrong biopic starring Ryan Gosling has an impressive pedigree (directed by Damien Chazelle, whose last two films were Whiplash and La La Land), but despite good reviews (88% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes), it failed to connect with audiences in the way it was expecting, as most predictions anticipated anywhere between a $20-30 million opening. Perhaps the fact it's a straight dramatic biopic instead of something with more science-fiction a la The Martian kept viewers away. With that said, all is not lost here, as it's definitely the type of film that can and should have legs, so we'll look back next weekend and then make a determination. It cost Universal between $60-70 million, and would need a good hold to make that back.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is neck and neck with First Man for third place, taking in $16.2 million. The sequel takes a dip from the opening weekend of the 2015 original, which started with $23.6 million. Maybe some people thought they had already seen this one when they saw Jack Black in The House with a Clock in its Walls last month, but otherwise, it's some simple sequelitis here, especially for a well-known book series; the first movie is the event, the rest are superfluous. It had a strong weekend after a mediocre Friday, so it's probably in for some okay holds over the next two weekends. which bring us to Halloween, and then the bottom will drop out. Goosebumps earned $80 million three years ago, the sequel won't get that far, but it will easily top its $35 million budget.


Smallfoot slides to fifth with $9.3 million and $57.6 million in three weekends. The animated film continues to hold well, and by the time it's done, it will have bested the film that topped it on opening weekend...

Night School, which drops 36% to $8 million, a decent recovery from the big drop it saw last weekend. It's got $59.8 million after three weekends. The Kevin Hart/Tiffany Haddish comedy will pass Game Night's $69 million in a couple of weekends to be the biggest pure comedy of 2018 to date.

Future cult classic Bad Times at the El Royale takes seventh with $7.2 million. Written and directed by Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods, The Martian screenplay, several Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Lost episodes), the neo-noir thriller has an impressive cast and mostly good reviews (71% Fresh) but attempting to sell anyone on this with an elevator pitch isn't going to work. You either get it or you don't with this Tarantino-esque film, it seems. I don't expect it to hold well or make back its reported $32 million budget, but look back in a couple years and you'll find Bad Times at the El Royale has quite the devoted following.

A House with a Clock in its Walls adds $3.9 million in its fourth weekend, giving it $62.2 million to date, which is just fine. It's over $100 million worldwide, and Universal is likely very happy with this performance given a $42 million budget.

In a bit of a preview of next weekend, The Hate U Give takes ninth with $1.7 million in just 248 theaters. Based on a 2017 young adult novel that takes on very modern and serious subjects, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give has gotten critical acclaim for its subject matter and performances. It opened last weekend in 36 theaters and earned $480,000, placing 14th. With $2.4 million already, Fox will be taking The Hate U Give wide next weekend, and I expect a very strong weekend (though a distant second to Halloween).

A Simple Favor wraps up its run and the top ten this weekend with $1.3 million this weekend, and $52 million after five weekends.

Your top 12 films this weekend totaled $130.7 million, easily ahead of last year's $98.3 million when Happy Death Day (which just got a sequel announced) led the way with $26 million.

Next weekend, in addition to the wide expansion of The Hate U Give, we get a 30th anniversary Halloween sequel, starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

Top Ten for Weekend of October 12-14, 2018
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Gross ($)
1 Venom Sony Pictures 35.7 -56% 142.8
2 A Star Is Born Warner Bros. 28.0 -39% 94.1
3 First Man Universal 16.5 New 16.5
4 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Sony Pictures 16.2 New 16.2
5 Smallfoot Warner Bros. 9.3 -35% 57.6
6 Night School Universal 8.0 -36% 59.8
7 Bad Times at the El Royale 20th Century Fox 7.2 New 7.2
8 The Hose with a Clock in its Walls Universal 3.9 -46% 62.2
9 The Hate U Give 20th Century Fox 1.7 +268% 2.4
10 A Simple Favor Lionsgate 1.3 -60% 52.0
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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