Halloween Kills Lives Up To Its Title With A Stellar Opening Weekend At The Box Office

Michael Myers strangles a woman in Halloween Kills
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

When David Gordon Green’s Halloween was released in 2018, it not only rejuvenated the horror franchise of which it is a part by being the best release since John Carpenter’s original; it also was a massive box office hit. Released just in time for the holiday for which it is named, the movie made an impressive $76.2 million in its first three days, and $255.5 worldwide by the time it was done playing on the big screen. It’s because of that title’s success that we now have Green’s Halloween Kills playing in theaters – and while it didn’t manage to do quite as well as its predecessor in its opening weekend, it did still seriously impress.

Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

Weekend Box Office October 15-17 Halloween Kills

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)
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1. Halloween Kills*$50,350,000 $50,350,000 Row 0 - Cell 3 3,705
2. No Time To Die$24,298,923 $99,509,477 14,407
3. Venom: Let There Be Carnage$16,500,000 $168,077,670 24,013
4. The Addams Family 2$7,195,119 $42,273,382 33,607
5. The Last Duel*$4,820,000 $4,820,000 Row 4 - Cell 3 3,065
6. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings$3,540,000 $218,070,859 42,300
7. Free Guy$680,000 $120,813,549 6915
8. Lamb$543,004 $2,037,730 8865
9. Candyman$460,000 $60,803,965 91,012
10. Dear Evan Hansen$410,000 $14,603,760 7974

A $50.4 million weekend for Halloween Kills isn’t quite as impressive as the aforementioned $76.2 million for Halloween, but one has to keep in mind that there are some important factors in play. The first is the on-going effect that the pandemic is having on movie-going behavior – though one has to mention that the exact impact of that now has to be recalibrated in the wake of Andy SerkisVenom: Let There Be Carnage, which successfully out-grossed Ruben Fleisher’s Venom when it came out in early October. The far more significant factor to note is that the film didn’t hit theaters as a big screen exclusive.

Excluding the Warner Bros. plan for their entire slate in 2021, we haven’t seen a title as big as Halloween Kills go with a hybrid release model since Jaume Collet-Serra’s Jungle Cruise came out in late July – but that was the move that Universal Pictures committed to with the horror sequel. It was announced in early September that the hotly anticipated film was going to be simultaneously put in theaters in available to stream on Peacock. Since then, there has been plenty of pondering among prognosticators regarding what kind of toll that would take on the opening weekend box office numbers… but now the damage doesn’t appear too bad.

Like the case with the Warner Bros. and HBO Max movies, and unlike the Disney+ Premier Access titles, Halloween Kills is available to watch without an extra cost if you have a Peacock subscription. Unfortunately, we have no idea what kind of impact the release has had on the streaming service – either in terms of traffic or additional subscriptions – as Universal Pictures has not let that information be known to the public.

All that being said, like in the case of most horror movies, Halloween Kills is a film that is best experienced among a crowd of screaming movie-goers, and in the last few days it’s great to see that plenty of people have opted for that option. Hopefully it will continue to bring in crowds as we get closer and closer to the spookiest of all holidays – though there is some in-genre competition set to arrive in cinemas in the coming weeks, including William Eubank's Paranormal Activity: Next Of Kin and Scott Cooper's Antlers.

There are also some other pretty huge titles on the way, but I'll get into that at the very end.

Andi Matichak as Allyson in Halloween Kills

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Of course, one also has to note in this discussion that Halloween Kills is the third franchise title to arrive in the span of three weeks, and the two other titles had solid weekends of their own (albeit while coming nowhere close to stealing the horror film’s box office crown. In light of the competition from the new release, there is a degree of sense made in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time To Die dipping 56 percent in its second Friday-to-Sunday, but adding $24.3 million to its domestic sum means that the film is now less than $500,000 away from being one of the few 2021 releases to reach nine figures in North America.

The new James Bond film (and the final one from the Daniel Craig era) also continues to sell plenty of tickets internationally. As I noted in last week’s box office column, the blockbuster won’t be playing in China until the very end of the month, but in foreign markets it has already brought in $348.3 million, bringing its global total to $447.8 million.

Meanwhile, Venom: Let There Be Carnage took a 48 percent dip in its third weekend, and has brought its domestic total up to $168.1 million. While the movie got off to a faster start than Venom did back in 2018, it still has a sizable hill to still climb if it wants to ultimately be recognized as the more successful release. By the time it was done in cinemas around the globe, the seminal title brought in $853.5 million, and the sequel is presently only sitting at $283.6 million.

That brings us to discussion of the other wide release from this past Friday – its performance in the Top 10 reflected in the structure of this feature. Ridley Scott, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon are all talents that have a long track record of putting butts in seats, but unfortunately Scott’s The Last Duel has not exactly shocked the market in its ability to sell tickets. The medieval feature, which runs about two-and-a-half hours long, played in over 3,000 locations in the last few days, but it only managed to make $4.8 million. This is in line with expectations going into the weekend, but it certainly doesn’t look great on paper, especially when one considers that it cost $100 million to make (according to Variety).

To sum up the way things went for the new releases, The Last Duel cost about 10 times more to make than Halloween Kills, and yet Halloween Kills brought in more than 10 times what The Last Duel made in their shared opening weekend.

Looking ahead, box office analysts are looking forward to a weird one, as Halloween Kills will spend its second weekend competing with Denis Villeneuve’s hotly anticipated, star-studded sci-fi epic Dune as well as well as Sarah Smith’s animated adventure Ron’s Gone Wrong. It should result in some fascinating numbers come Sunday, so be sure to come back here to CinemaBlend then for our full breakdown!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.