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The wait for what may be this year's most anticipated horror movie is finally over. It's been 40 years since the original and nearly a decade since the last film, but Halloween is back. David Gordon Green's reboot-quel opened in theaters last night and absence has clearly made the heart grow fonder, as Halloween made $7.7 million in preview screenings.
Thursday night previews began at 7 p.m. at 3,200 locations, netting the Miramax/Blumhouse and Universal Pictures film a cool $7.7 million to get a head start on what should be a massive weekend for the horror flick. This amount falls short of the estimates that had it pegged at $10 million, but is still a great number that bests The Nun's $5.4 million preview opening.
This performance also lands Halloween as arguably the third-best horror preview showing ever, after IT's $13.5 million and Paranormal Activity 3's $8 million. Tracking before the opening had Halloween headed for a record $70 million opening weekend, which would be the second best for a horror film of all-time, and that is still possible given the Thursday night numbers.
As noted by Deadline in its box office report, horror movies are typically front-loaded with audiences falling off as the weekend progresses, so it's somewhat difficult to judge exactly what Thursday night's performance means for the overall weekend. Halloween could perform more like a blockbuster and bring in audiences throughout the entire weekend, thus delivering a bigger return.
If Halloween's box office performance from day-to-day over opening weekend is in line with movies like IT or The Nun, it could be looking at around a $75 million debut. It'll be an easy win for Michael Myers this weekend, it's just a question of how many wallets he will be slashing open.
We know that Halloween is the top horror pre-seller this year, and Deadline also reported that the advance ticket sales are huge. This is even after the preview screenings, with pre-sales at some multiplexes surpassing those of IT, which should raise some eyebrows as that film is currently the horror GOAT at the box office.
Halloween is bolstered by the brand name, positive reviews, the Halloween season, the horror boom and nostalgia for the franchise. Though one thing working against Halloween box office-wise is that unlike IT or The Nun, Halloween is not playing on IMAX screens, which are currently displaying First Man. So Halloween is not benefitting from those premium ticket prices.
Halloween is now playing. Make sure you remember the original before seeing it and check out what we thought. After you've experienced the new film, come back and let us know what you thought and read our breakdown of the ending. For all the biggest movies still to come this year, head on over to the 2018 release schedule.