Weekend Estimates: ‘Halloween’ Claims October Opening Day Record with $33.3M Friday, Could Approach $80M Weekend

Saturday Update: Universal reports this morning that Halloween scored a massive $33.34 million opening day on Friday, setting a new October first day record that was just recently claimed by Venom two weeks ago with its $32.5 million start. The studio is projecting an $80.3 million weekend at this time, in line with our earlier report.

Digging in to the numbers, Halloween‘s record start is the second highest ever for an R-rated horror film — only trailing It‘s $50.4 million opening day last year. In its first day alone, this chapter already owns the highest opening weekend in franchise history (even after adjusting for inflation). It’s also surpassed the entire lifetime domestic grosses of six other films in the franchise.

Where it goes from here is a bit more a mystery. The series’ strong fan following could still result in a sharp enough Saturday decline to prevent an $80 million weekend, but its Thursday-to-Friday multiple of 4.33x is already indicative of positive early word of mouth and/or expansion beyond the core fans. By comparison, The Nun earned 4.09x, A Quiet Place earned 4.39x, and It earned 3.74x.

In other words, expecting the film to play out like those films over the weekend is more than reasonable, which means Venom‘s October weekend record of $80.255 million is definitely in play (per Universal’s official projection this morning). It wouldn’t be surprising to see the final result come in a few ticks higher *or* lower — but either way, this is an incredible performance for the franchise, the genre, and yet another contribution to a massive month at the box office.

Expanding wide this weekend, The Hate U Give posted $2.5 million on Friday — including $300,000 from 7pm shows at 1,600 locations during Thursday evening’s wide market expansion. Fox projects an $8.0 million weekend.

On the holdover front, A Star Is Born claimed second place with $5.7 million on Friday, down just 33 percent from last Friday and bringing its domestic cume to $112.8 million. Venom took third with $5.05 million and an updated tally of $158.5 million.

Last week’s top new release, First Man, added $2.5 million yesterday for an updated $23.9 million eight-day haul. Goosebumps 2 pulled another $2.535 million, giving it $21.6 million in the same time frame.

Early weekend estimates are in the chart below. Follow Boxoffice for continued updates this weekend.

Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, OCT. 19 – SUN, OCT. 21

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Halloween (2018) $80,300,000 3,928 $20,443 $80,300,000 1 Universal Pictures
2 A Star is Born $19,000,000 -33% 3,884 176 $4,892 $126,076,246 3 Warner Bros.
3 Venom $18,000,000 -49% 3,887 -363 $4,631 $171,020,095 3 Sony / Columbia
4 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween $10,000,000 -37% 3,521 0 $2,840 $29,089,812 2 Sony
5 First Man $8,600,000 -46% 3,640 0 $2,363 $30,035,050 2 Universal
6 The Hate U Give $8,000,000 361% 2,303 2055 $3,474 $11,141,873 3 20th Century Fox
7 Smallfoot $6,800,000 -25% 3,032 -574 $2,243 $66,551,035 4 Warner Bros.
8 Night School $4,900,000 -37% 2,296 -484 $2,134 $66,806,825 4 Universal
9 Bad Times At The El Royale $3,300,000 -54% 2,808 0 $1,175 $13,341,801 2 20th Century Fox
10 The House With A Clock In Its Walls $1,800,000 -53% 1,588 -1203 $1,134 $64,987,590 5 Universal Pictures
11 The Sisters Brothers $800,000 203% 1,141 1012 $701 $2,028,718 5 Annapurna Pictures

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 The Old Man & The Gun $2,300,000 151% 802 574 $2,868 $4,450,856 4 Fox Searchlight
2 Free Solo $1,000,000 12% 249 120 $4,016 $3,608,718 4 National Geographic Entertainment
3 Gosnell: The Trial Of America’s Biggest Serial Killer $600,000 -48% 500 -168 $1,200 $2,413,620 2 GVN Releasing
4 The Nun $420,000 -69% 623 -551 $674 $116,750,963 7 Warner Bros.
5 A Simple Favor $360,000 -73% 492 -960 $732 $52,901,690 6 Lionsgate
6 Incredibles 2 $185,000 -13% 176 -18 $1,051 $607,724,569 19 Disney
7 Disney’s Christopher Robin $75,000 -48% 108 -357 $694 $98,733,443 12 Disney
8 Hell Fest $60,000 -91% 263 -605 $228 $10,740,601 4 Lionsgate / CBS Films
9 Ant-Man and the Wasp $58,000 -35% 105 -27 $552 $216,608,229 16 Disney

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Can You Ever Forgive Me? $135,000 5 $27,000 $135,000 1 Fox Searchlight

===

Friday Report: Universal and director David Gordon Green’s Halloween scored a strong $7.7 million start on Thursday night from shows beginning at 7pm in 3,200 locations. That’s the biggest start for an R-rated film since May’s Deadpool 2 ($18.6 million), and handily tops all horror releases in 2018. Additional comps:

  • 42.6 percent ahead of The Nun ($5.4 million)
  • 79.1 percent ahead of A Quiet Place ($4.3 million)
  • 43 percent behind It ($13.5 million)

Weekend projections are volatile at this stage for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that the franchise has a considerable fan base which may — or may not — result in some front-loading toward early shows. The film’s strong reviews and pre-release tracking suggest that internal weekend performance will alleviate much of that thanks to broad appeal. It’s also worth noting the film lacks the IMAX price boost enjoyed by The Nun and It.

At this point, a debut weekend close to $70 million is likely if it were to follow a similar trajectory as It.

Follow Boxoffice for continued updates.

Shawn Robbins

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    doos October 20, 2018

    Ha Ha Ha , First Man is gonna limp to 50 million domestic.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Jordana October 20, 2018

    Halloween is KILLING it. Wheres the guy who swore is would flop. Lol

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Dan October 20, 2018

    First man will barely creep to 50 million

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    RussVB October 20, 2018

    Universal projecting 80.3, new October record by thaaaaat much.
    A cynic might suggest they’re going for max publicity before a likely scale-back as the weekend progresses. Watching with much interest.

    Reply

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