Blumhouse and Universal's Halloween — a direct sequel to the 1978 classic slasher hit — is headed for a $70 million-plus debut at the domestic box office, the best showing ever for a title opening during the Halloween corridor.
Universal is being more conservative in projecting $50 million-plus for the critically acclaimed film, which would still be a stellar start for an R-rated pic that cost a modest $10 million to produce. And anything above $55 million would represent the biggest bow for a horror title since New Line's blockbuster It, which launched to $123 million in early September 2017.
Directed by David Gordon Green, Halloween sees the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as the iconic character Laurie Strode, who once again faces off with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night in the 1978 film. (Nick Castle reprises his role as Myers)
After Blumhouse landed rights to the Halloween franchise, Jason Blum tapped horror icon John Carpenter, who directed the 1978 film, to serve as creative consultant.
Halloween generated significant buzz upon debuting in the midnight section of this year's Toronto International Film Festival. The sequel has the advantage of appealing to both younger horror fans and followers of the original Halloween franchise, an unusual convergence.
Universal is opening Halloween day-and-date in 21 foreign markets, including the UK, Mexico and Russia.
October box-office revenue is running at record levels, thanks to Sony's Venom and Warner Bros.' A Star Is Born, which kicked off the month in high style when debuting to $80 million and $43 million, respectively. (Venom easily set an October record in its launch)
Halloween isn't the only new nationwide release this weekend.
With awards season in full swing, Fox 2000 expands its YA police-shooting drama The Hate U Give into more roughly 2,300 theatres, while Fox Searchlight's Old Man & the Gun, starring Robert Redford in his final big-screen role, moves into a total of 600 cinemas, according to Hollywood Reporter.
New entries at the specialty box office include Can You Ever Forgive Me? starring Melissa McCarthy, IFC's Wildlife, Bleecker Street's What They Had and A24's Mid90s.
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