Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Halloween Helps Shatter October Box Office Record

Michael Myers is back to terrorize a new generation of moviegoers — and to slash box office records, with a little help from a few friends.

Blumhouse Productions' Halloween, the David Gordon Green-helmed direct sequel to the seminal 1978 classic of the same name, followed up its monster opening weekend by posting a surprisingly strong showing in its second to remain at number one. And with fellow hits Venom, A Star is Born, and Suspiria also getting their share of butts in seats, the well-received slasher flick has helped Tinseltown to its best October ever. 

Box Office Mojo reports that as of October 28, domestic box office receipts for the month stood at a whopping $786.1 million — nearly $30 million better than the previous best October total of $758 million, which came in 2014.

According to VarietyHalloween racked up $32 million in its second weekend, a 58 percent drop from its opening weekend total. That may seem like a lot, but it's actually in line with or slightly better than recent tentpole pictures. By way of comparison, 2018 hits Deadpool 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp both experienced drops in the 62 to 65 percent range in their second weekends. With a comparatively paltry budget of only $10 million, Halloween has now raked in over $126 million domestically, and its better-than-expected performance in its second frame has been attributed to strong word of mouth, good critical notices, and, of course, its October 19 release date, not even two weeks before its namesake holiday.

Halloween's late entry and bonkers box office may have played a big hand in pushing this October over the top, but the pace was set early in the month by Venom. The Tom Hardy-starring superhero flick — produced by Sony Pictures in association with Marvel — shattered the expectations of even the most optimistic box office trackers, setting an October opening-weekend record with a ridiculous $80 million haul. It's gone on to a domestic total approaching $190 million, and Hollywood's good fortunes were bolstered even further by the performance of the Bradley Cooper-helmed, Lady Gaga-starring rock and roll drama A Star is Born (currently sitting at nearly $150 million domestic) and the surprise hit Suspiria, director Luca Guadagnino's artsy interpretation of Dario Argento's 1977 original. In extremely limited release, that picture managed to notch the best per-screen average of any film all year, posting a $179,806 haul despite opening in only two locations. Suspiria can be expected to keep Hollywood going strong into November, when distributor Amazon Studios plans to roll the film out to 250 locations nationwide.

The outstanding performance of Halloween can be seen as part of a larger recent trend of insanely profitable horror flicks that dominated despite being released during typically slow months. The picture still has quite a bit of cash to make before it approaches 2017 Blumhouse releases Split ($138 million domestic) and Get Out ($176 million domestic), which became the studio's two top-grossing pictures despite rolling out in the dumping grounds of January and February, respectively. In September of that year, New Line's It underlined audiences' year-round appetite for quality horror by smashing all kinds of box office records on its way to becoming the highest-grossing horror film of all time. 

The trend looks to continue in 2019: Blumhouse will unleash Split sequel Glass in January, followed by Happy Death Day 2U (the sequel to 2017 surprise smash Happy Death Day) in February, followed by Us (writer/director Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out) in March. Like its record-setting predecessor, It: Chapter Two is slated for a September release — and if these pictures bring in the big bucks as expected, we can expect to see Hollywood continue to prop up traditionally slower periods with the heaping helpings of gore that audiences suddenly can't seem to get enough of. 

It remains to be seen if Halloween will have the legs to challenge for the all-time horror box office crown, but one thing is clear: its success means that we almost certainly haven't seen the last of Michael Myers on the big screen. Speaking with Deadline, co-writer Danny McBride had this to say about the prospect of continuing the story: "We did not allow ourselves to really indulge [the idea of a sequel] until the movie came out. We just wanted to put all our hopes and dreams in having this film stick the landing. But we do have thoughts and ideas of what we could possibly do. We hadn't invested a ton of time on them, but now we're being asked to figure it out." 

And there you have it, the truth behind the Boogeyman's power: as long as we keep throwing money at him, he can never really die.