October 21, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.21.2018


OPENINGS:  HALLOWEEN (Blumhouse/Miramax/Universal) was front-loaded, with a Saturday drop that hit 18%, but that only prevented it from setting records, not from being a giant hit at $77.5M for the weekend.  That instantly makes it the highest-grossing entry in the 40-year old Halloween franchise (not adjusting for inflation).  With one more weekend before the holiday itself and no wide-release horror competition on the way, it could reach $175M in the US and mountains of profit.  The film opened in 23 international markets this weekend and earned $14.3M.

Several films expanded from limited to nationwide release this weekend.  THE HATE U GIVE (20th) brought in a lackluster $7.5M at 2303 theatres, and will need a strong hold to keep its theatres into November.

THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (Fox Searchlight) widened more modestly to 802, and its $2.1M gave it a mild $2600 weekend per-theatre average, with prospects for additional expansion unclear.

THE SISTERS BROTHERS (Annapurna) had a disastrous move into 1141 theatres with $740K, an ugly $650 per-theatre average.

HOLDOVERS:  A STAR IS BORN (MGM/Warners) had its first weekend victory over Venom, down just 32% to $19.3M, and on its way to $165M+ in the US.  However, it’s much quieter overseas, where it’s at $74.7M after a $22.8M weekend in 75 markets, with only Japan still to come.

No one needs to feel bad for VENOM (Tencent/Columbia/Sony), which dropped 48% to $18.1M, and should reach $210M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $290.7M after a $32.3M weekend in 65 territories, and still has a China opening ahead (along with Japan).

GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) lost 39% to $3.8M in its 3rd weekend, and may get to $50M in the US.  Its gradual international release added $6.2M for the weekend in 24 markets, for $11.1M to date.

FIRST MAN (Perfect World/Universal) didn’t have the Weekend 2 hold it needed, down 47% to $8.6M, and likely to need a stretch to hit $50M in the US.  It’s at $25.5M overseas after a $13.4M weekend.

SMALLFOOT (Warners Animation) is holding very well at a lukewarm level, down 27% in its 4th weekend to $6.6M as it heads toward $80M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $70.8M after a $14M weekend in 71 territories that include China.

NIGHT SCHOOL (Perfect World/Universal) dropped 36% in its 4th weekend to $5M, on its way to $75M in the US.  It has $17.5M overseas after a $1.5M weekend in 22 markets.

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (20th) slumped by 54% in its 2nd weekend to $3.3M, and may get to $20M in the US.  It has $8.1M overseas after a $2.5M weekend in 49 territories.

LIMITED RELEASE:  With awards season underway, it was a busy weekend for openings and expansions.  mid90s (A24) had the splashiest start with a $63K per-theatre weekend average in 4 NY/LA houses, but its weekend was heavily tilted toward Friday because of in-theatre Q&As.  CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (Fox Searchlight) had a more moderate opening with a $30K average at 5.  WILDFIRE (IFC) averaged $26K at 4.  WHAT THEY HAD (Bleecker Street) brought up the rear, averaging just $4700 at 4.  FREE SOLO (NatGeo) had an OK expansion to 251 with a $4K average.  BEAUTIFUL BOY (Amazon) widened to 48 with a mild $9100 average (that number may come down in finals, since it assumes an extremely strong Sunday).  THE OATH (Roadside) jumped to 300 theatres, and only averaged $700.  THE HAPPY PRINCE (Sony Classics) averaged $2400 at 25.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Many people have non-movie plans on Halloween weekend, so the studios keep their A-list openings away.  The fare includes HUNTER KILLER (Lionsgate), the Christian-based INDIVISIBLE (Pure), and British comedy JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN (Universal), which has already earned $96M in release throughout most of the rest of the world.  Limited releases include the arthouse horror remake SUSPIRIA (Amazon), VIPER CLUB (Roadside) and BORDER (Neon).

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."