October 20, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Halloween” Bloodthirsty, “The Hate U Give” Soft, “A Star Is Born” Stays Strong


A piece of beloved genre IP that gets rave reviews is hard to beat, and the newest iteration of HALLOWEEN (Blumhouse/Miramax/Universal) is headed toward a huge opening.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline put Friday at $33M ($7.7M from Thursday night), and even allowing for the typical front-loading of sequels and horror movies, that should mean a $75M+ weekend.  Combined with the early round of international openings, that may put this Halloween in profit by Sunday, thanks to its low $15M production cost.  This means, of course, that despite this entry’s satisfying conclusion, more sequels will almost certainly be on the way.  Halloween should also challenge Blumhouse’s current top earner Get Out, which totaled $176M in the US and $255.5M worldwide.

VENOM (Tencent/Columbia/Sony) is playing more as an action movie than horror, so Halloween didn’t hurt it too badly.  Its 3rd Friday was down 40% from last week to $5.9M, and it should have a $21M weekend as it heads toward $210M in the US.

A STAR IS BORN (MGM/Warners) continues to hold strongly, down 34% on its 3rd Friday to $5.6M, for a $19M weekend that has it on track for $165M in the US.

GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) dropped 47% from last Friday to $2.6M, just about the same as the 46% Friday-to-Friday drop for the first Goosebumps, although that was at a higher box office level.  The weekend should be $10M, on its way to $50M in the US.

FIRST MAN (Perfect World/Universal) desperately needed a great Week 2 hold, and it’s not happening.  The Friday-to-Friday drop was 54% to $2.6M, giving it a likely $9M weekend, and a US total that may struggle to reach $50M, putting it on a tough road to profit.

THE HATE U GIVE (20th) had a mediocre expansion to wide release with $2.6M on Friday for a $7M weekend.  The last mid-budgeted Fox title to aim for socially conscious teens was March’s Love, Simon, which opened to $11.8M, and a similar trajectory would land Hate at a $30M US total.

SMALLFOOT (Warners Animation) is showing great word of mouth, but also running out of gas, with a 4th Friday drop of 25% to $1.7M, for a $6.5M weekend on its way to $80M in the US.

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (20th) fell 50% to $1.4M from last week’s opening, headed toward a $4.5M weekend and a $25M US total.

NIGHT SCHOOL (Perfect World/Universal) was down 40% to $1.3M on its 4th Friday, for a $4.5M weekend and a $75M US total.

THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (Fox Searchlight) expanded to the low edges of wide release at 802 theatres, and may hit $2M for the weekend, a soft $2500 per-theatre weekend average.

Several high-profile indies opened in limited release, and aggressive in-theatre weekend Q&As may make early numbers unreliable.  At the moment, mid90s (A24) is projected to a $58K per-theatre weekend average at 4, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (Fox Searchlight) to a $30K average at 5, and WILDLIFE (IFC) to a 28K average at 4.


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."