Weekend Forecast for October 19-21, 2018

By Reagen Sulewski

October 19, 2018

Who's stalking whom?

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Because Hollywood can never let an idea just die, one of the longest running horror franchises sees its eleventh instalment in an ever-more complicated family tree hit theaters just in time for its namesake holiday.

Forty years after the debut of the original Halloween, directed by John Carpenter and starring Jamie Lee Curtis in her career-making role as Laurie Strode, we have a return to the origins with another starring role for Curtis and directed by ... David Gordon Green? All the Scream Girls, I guess. It's the third film in the series to bear the exact name of just plain Halloween, after the original, and then the Rob Zombie remake, which had two films unconnected to this one, and it's the fourth for Curtis, who also appeared in the first sequel and the 20 years-return, H20, but which has been struck from the record for this one (since Curtis decapitated series baddie Michael Myers in that one ... though they've overlooked worse). And then there's Halloweens 3 through 6, which had loose continuity to the first, and 3 existed in a world where Halloween was a film... look, I said it was complicated.

Anyway, the man in the backwards Bill Shatner mask, Michael Myers, is back and looking for revenge on his sister, who helped put him away in a mental hospital all those years ago. Prodded on by a couple of nosy British academics, Myers escapes and starts stalking his old neighborhood, knocking off a few babysitters along the way. However, Strode has spent the last 40 years preparing for this return, and isn't about to sit idly by waiting to be murdered, even if it is by someone with near supernatural strength an apparent ability to overcome mortal injuries.

Also starring Judy Greer and Will Patton, along with a host of cheap, young talent, this sequel is backed by indie studio Blumhouse, which has specialized in producing ultra cheap horror of unusual quality, and occasional breakout hits. Written by Green and Danny McBride (along with another of their collaborators), reviews have been quite strong, and hype appears to be coalescing around this version of the franchise. “Original Flavor” always seems to be a drawing card for any franchise, which the addition of Curtis brings to this, and away from the (admittedly of the style of its time) gruesome Rob Zombie films. At $10 million, the budget for this guarantees a profit by, like, Friday evening, and could surge past some of Blumhouse's biggest opening weekends like The Purge and Get Out. And while topicality is often an overrated factor, occasionally audiences just up and decide that, yes, seeing a scary movie in October is the right idea, if it's the right specific horror film. I'd look for a huge weekend of around $68 million.




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While that's the sole wholly new film, a significant expansion brings us The Hate U Give into over 2,300 venues after sneaking into the top 10 last weekend on about a tenth of that. Based on a best-selling novel, it centers on a young black woman who sees her best friend shot by the police, and the pressures put upon her by all sides following that incident. She becomes the focal point of a protest movement, one that she's not quite sure she wants to be a part of, considering she attends a mostly-white prep school where she has to pretend to be above her upbringing. Her classmates act sympathetic, but is it really opportunistic? It's about as topical a film as you can imagine that takes a hard and honest look at modern race relations. It earned a very solid $2 million last weekend but will be a challenging film for mass audiences because of its polarizing subject matter. With this massive expansion, though, it's being given every shot and should grab about $6 million this weekend.

Venom will shed its top spot at the box office after two weekends and over $150 million. What might have been an MCU bomb (or at least from the Spidey-verse) will get away with a respectable $210 million or so domestically. Give it about $19 million this weekend.

Two battling Oscar hopefuls went different directions last weekend, with A Star Is Born showing decent legs with a one-third drop, while First Man had an underwhelming $16 million debut, which cripples but doesn't necessarily kill, its awards chances. The Cooper/GaGa film should come in with around $18 million this weekend, while OK legs might kick in for the Neil Armstrong biopic, putting it at $11 million.

The second Goosebumps film was a significant miss, opening to just $15 million, about a 30 percent drop from the first entry. It's possible that two gothic horror kids films in theaters at one time is too many. Give it around $8 million this weekend. Meanwhile, Smallfoot is finding modest success in its own lane, headed for around $75 million, with $6 million coming this weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of October 18-21, 2018
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Halloween 3,928 New 68.3
2 Venom 3,887 -363 19.3
3 A Star Is Born 3,884 +176 18.6
4 First Man 3,640 0 11.2
5 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween 3,521 0 8.6
6 The Hate U Give 2,303 +2,055 6.5
7 Smallfoot 3,302 -574 6.2
8 Night School 2,292 -488 4.6
9 Bad Times at the El Royale 2,808 0 4.5
10 The House With a Clock In Its Walls 1,585 -1,206 2.0

     


 
 

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