Halloween Kills slayed at the North American box office this weekend, outperforming expectations in its debut with an estimated $50.35M from 3,705 locations — offering yet more evidence of the theatrical business’ comeback from the prolonged pandemic slump. On the other hand, 20th Century Studios’ The Last Duel underwhelmed, with its opening frame coming in below the film’s already-modest projections heading into the weekend.
Michael Myers, the masked killer who has been haunting theaters for over four decades, wooed horror audiences back to multiplexes in a way not seen since A Quiet Place Part II bowed with $47.55M over Memorial Day weekend. In addition to posting the highest three-day opening weekend for a horror film during the pandemic to date, Halloween Kills also outgrossed Godzilla vs. Kong, which previously held the pandemic-era record for the largest debut of a day-and-date SVOD title (the giant-monster sequel opened to $31.6M in April).
Though Halloween Kills came in well below the opening of Halloween 2018, which grossed $76.2M (the second-highest October debut in history at the time), the sequel also debuted day-and-date on the NBCUni streaming platform Peacock, giving fans the opportunity to watch it at home. In any event, the follow-up soared past both the studio’s own $35M prediction and analysts’ forecasts, many of whom had it pegged in the $30M to $40M opening range.
Halloween Kills could have been dinged somewhat by reviews that were considerably less positive than those received by the last installment (it sits at 39% on Rotten Tomatoes versus the 2018 Halloween’s 79%), though horror fans perhaps tend not to pay as much attention to critics as the average moviegoer. Speaking of fans, the Halloween franchise continued its broad appeal to both women and men, who made up 48% and 52% of the opening weekend audience, respectively. Age-wise, 56% of the audience was over the age of 25 while 27% was over the age of 35, meaning the film skewed significantly older than Venom: Let There Be Carnage (whose own debut audience was 45% over age 25).
However you look at it, Halloween Kills is a winner for Universal, not to mention the overall exhibition industry, which has now enjoyed three $50M-plus openings in a row – Venom: Let There Be Carnage, No Time to Die and now Michael Myers’ latest bloody outing.
After opening to a somewhat disappointing (albeit still strong) $55.23M last weekend, No Time to Die fell to second place with an estimated $24.3M in its sophomore frame, marking a 56% drop from its debut. That second-weekend dip is just a tad higher than 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre, which fell 54% and 52%, respectively, in their second frames. To date, No Time to Die has $99.51M, putting it around $5M ahead of 2006’s Casino Royale at the same point in its run (not adjusting for inflation).
Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage held well in its third weekend of release with an estimated $16.5M, a 48% drop. That brings the total for the antihero sequel to $168.08M, putting it just a tick or two below the first Venom, which had taken in $171.06M by the same point in its run.
With little in the way of family-friendly competition in theaters and the Halloween season heating up, United Artists’ The Addams Family 2 finished in fourth place after dropping just 29% to an estimated $7.2M in its third weekend of release. The animated sequel has $42.27M to date.
Posting a disappointing debut in fifth place was The Last Duel, which grossed an estimated $4.82M from 3,065 locations. Despite featuring an A-list cast (Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Ben Affleck and Jodie Comer) and director (Ridley Scott) and drawing generally positive reviews, the historical drama simply couldn’t break through the noise made by its big-screen competitors – with No Time to Die in particular going for a similar (read: older) audience. Indeed, 51% of its opening weekend audience was over the age of 35 — a demo that has shown more reticence in returning to theaters than younger moviegoers. The Disney-distributed film, which was released exclusively in theaters, should fade quickly in the coming weeks, particularly with the highly-anticipated sci-fi title Dune set to open next weekend.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings finished in sixth place with an estimated $3.5M in its seventh weekend of release. The Marvel title has $218.07M to date. At No. 7, 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy took in an estimated $680k for a total of $120.81M so far.
Lamb took eighth place with an estimated $543k in its second weekend, giving the A24 horror film $2.04M to date, while ninth and tenth place went to Candyman and Dear Evan Hansen, which grossed an estimated $460k and $410k for totals of $60.8M and $14.6M.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage continued its strong international run with an estimated $62.3M from 44 markets, including solid openings in South Korea ($9.5M), the U.K. ($8.3M), Spain ($3.9M), Italy ($3.7M), Taiwan ($2.8M), Ukraine ($2.7M) and Hong Kong ($2.3M). Its overseas total is $115.6M while its global total stands at $283.68M to date. Upcoming major markets include France (October 20), Germany (October 21), Australia (November 25) and Japan (December 3).
No Time to Die grossed an estimated $53.99M from 72 territories, including $11.2M in the U.K. and Ireland, where it dropped by 46% and has grossed a total of $92.9M to date. It also took in an estimated $9.3M in Germany, $5.6M in France, $2.8M in the Netherlands and $2.6M in Russia. Major markets yet to release include China (October 29) and Australia (November 11).
The Addams Family 2 grossed an estimated $9.71M in 21 territories this weekend, including $3.9M in Russia. It has $16.23M to date overseas.
Dune‘s international total increased to $129.3M this weekend after the Dennis Villenueve-directed sci-fi took in an additional estimated $8.5M from 36 markets, including debuts in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Greece. The Warner Bros. film hits North American theaters next weekend.
Halloween Kills opened to an estimated $5.5M from 20 territories including the U.K. & Ireland, where it finished in third place behind No Time to Die and Venom: Let There Be Carnage with $2.3M. Future openings include France (October 20), Russia, Germany, Italy (all October 21), Spain (October 22), Korea (October 27), Australia (October 28) and Japan (October 29).
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates: October 15-17, 2021
|Title||Estimated weekend||% change||Locations||Location change||Average||Total||Weekend||Distributor|
|No Time to Die||$24,298,923||-56%||4,407||n/c||$5,514||$99,509,477||2||United Artists (MGM)|
|Venom: Let There Be Carnage||$16,500,000||-48%||4,013||-212||$4,112||$168,077,670||3||Sony Pictures|
|The Addams Family 2||$7,195,119||-29%||3,607||-600||$1,995||$42,273,382||3||United Artists|
|The Last Duel||$4,820,000||3,065||$1,573||$4,820,000||1||20th Century Studios|
|Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings||$3,540,000||-18%||2,300||-500||$1,539||$218,070,859||7||Walt Disney|
|Free Guy||$680,000||-45%||915||-580||$743||$120,813,549||10||20th Century Studios|
|Dear Evan Hansen||$410,000||-60%||974||-953||$421||$14,603,760||4||Universal|
|Jungle Cruise||$119,000||-45%||235||-210||$506||$116,763,166||12||Walt Disney|
|Bergman Island||$55,000||115||$478||$55,000||1||IFC Films|
|The Jesus Music||$37,000||-76%||103||-167||$359||$990,470||3||Lionsgate|
|I’m Your Man||$26,570||-51%||103||-19||$258||$229,599||4||Bleecker Street|
|The Eyes of Tammy Faye||$24,000||-48%||55||-70||$436||$2,368,004||5||Searchlight Pictures|