Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

October 20, 2018

We love Carol/Cheryl, too.

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Let's play a game of "Which number is bigger?" When you see $33.34 million and $15 million, which one is larger? This isn't a trick question. The answer is $33.34 million.

Now, let's put this in box office terms. When you see those two numbers, you'd actually presume that the larger number is the budget and the smaller number is the opening day box office, right? That's an understandable conclusion that happens to be wrong in this instance.

Yesterday, a film with a $15 million budget earned $33.34 million in its first day in movie theaters. Ladies and gentlemen, Blumhouse productions has a very specific set of skills. When you want to see strangers tortured, stabbed, and otherwise tormented, their movie library should be the first place you check. Their latest box office feat is arguably their most impressive. They've rebooted the stale Halloween franchise that seemed about five sequels long in the tooth and turned it into something that shattered all reasonable box office expectations.

With Halloween, Blumhouse has followed the Terminator 2: Judgment Day playbook. They've returned the original scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, and elevated her into a Sarah Connor-type, a woman who has spent the last 40 years anticipating the return of Michael Myers. The genius of this female empowerment play is that during most Halloween sequels (and really, any horror movie), the protagonists run away from the danger. Don't get us wrong, they inevitably do it stupidly and wind up getting slashed with an ax, but their fight or flight mechanism at least works. With Curtis returning, Laurie Stode isn't going to run. To the contrary, she's going to head toward the danger, since she's been jonesing for this fight since the 1970s. By retconning generations of sequels (all of them), director David Gordon Green and a team of writers including Danny McBride (seriously) has tapped into a masterstroke of a justification for a franchise reboot.




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For months now, we've known that audiences were going to lap this up, but the degree to which people responded in the first 30 hours of the film's release is staggering. After earning $7.7 million in Thursday night previews, the film claimed another $25.7 million during its true Friday window. At the risk of repeating ourselves, $33.4 million in a day is a remarkable performance for any movie. For one with a budget of only $15 million, it emphatically enters the conversation for most profitable box office performance in recent memory.

Halloween 2018 is likely looking at an opening weekend of $75.8 million, possibly even more if it avoids the usual horror film performance of a strong Friday followed by a slow burn over the rest of the weekend. With Halloween still 11 days away, Halloween has a legitimate chance at $200 million in domestic box office. We've witnessed some amazing performances lately such as Crazy Rich Asians and A Star Is Born. Halloween crushes both of them. $15 million productions don't make a run at $200 million in box office these days.


     


 
 

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