The next chapter in the Michael Myers saga arrives on October 15 with Halloween Kills, a direct sequel to 2018’s highly successful revival of the franchise.
Here’s the preliminary box office outlook:
- The 2018 film scored a massive $76.2 million opening weekend at the domestic box office, representing the second largest October start in history at the time (following Venom‘s $80.3 million debut just a few weeks prior). Since then, only Joker‘s $96.2 million has surpassed them.
- While not on par with the benchmarks set by the 2018 chapter, Halloween Kills‘ trailer releases have generated strong social media footprints and YouTube views — well above those of most horror releases. Tracked impressions across Twitter and YouTube are the highest of any horror release since It: Chapter Two in September 2019.
- That prior David Gordon Green-helmed and co-written film was massively anticipated by the horror community three years ago as it promised to honor John Carpenter’s original 1978 film as a direct sequel ignoring every other Halloween film since. Kills is the second installment in a planned trilogy that anchored around the same key cast and filmmakers.
- The continuation of the storyline with Kills, which again has the blessing of Carpenter himself and the return of Green, co-writer Danny McBride, and co., should bring back a significant portion of the audience that drove 2018’s chapter to the highest box office figures of the franchise (without adjusting for inflation).
- Horror films have been a staple of box office recovery this year thanks to their minimal risk and strong appeal to young audiences. Since 2018’s film already did the legwork of introducing the now-43-year-old franchise, those demographics will be key components once again — as will older fans excited to see Jamie Lee Curtis’s continued evolution as the iconic Laurie Strode.
- Diminished box office results are exceedingly common for horror sequels, especially within established franchises. That also applies to revival-esque franchise films outside the scare genre which have gone on to produce subsequent sequels after an initial burst of intrigue built up by a long absence from the big screen.
- A softer premium screen presence (which will be dominated by No Time to Die and Dune opening on both sides of Kills‘ debut weekend) will deflate average ticket prices paid relative to most tentpoles, including 2018’s Halloween itself.
- Coupled with said law of diminishing returns, Universal announced early in September that Halloween Kills will be a day-and-date hybrid release in theaters and streaming on their Peacock platform. While the latter is not as popular as the likes of Disney+ or HBO Max in terms of paid subscriber bases, the film’s at-home availability skews forecasting models with very few precedents and will likely dent box office potential.
- Although the 2018 film expanded the franchise’s audience to include younger generations, drivers of the current box office rebound during the pandemic, it still skewed largely over the age of 25 (59 percent on opening weekend). As we’ve discussed in numerous forecasts and reports, older audiences (notably, women over 35) remain the most hesitant to return to movies and other public entertainment venues as the vaccine era of the pandemic slowly chugs along.
- The previous film was significantly front-loaded, earning a 2.09x multiplier from its opening to finish at $159.3 million domestically. While that was mostly expected at the time for such a fan-driven franchise, the staying power still indicates some of the casual viewers who checked out that film might not be as eager to return for its direct sequel.
- Unfortunately, early reviews aren’t as enthusiastic as they were for the 2018 Halloween. That film scored 79 percent score from 381 critics (70 percent from audiences), while Kills currently stands at 59 percent from 17 reviews as of September 24.
Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2021 Calendar
(as of 9/24/21)
|Release Date||Title||3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range||% Chg from Last Week||Domestic Total Low/High Range||% Chg from Last Week||Estimated Location Count||Distributor|
|9/30/2021||After We Fell||1,131||Fathom Events|
|10/1/2021||The Addams Family 2||$12,000,000 – $22,000,000||$40,000,000 – $70,000,000||3,800||United Artists Releasing|
|10/1/2021||The Jesus Music||n/a||Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company|
|10/1/2021||The Many Saints of Newark||$7,000,000 – $16,000,000||$20,000,000 – $45,000,000||3,600||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|10/1/2021||Venom: Let There Be Carnage||$45,000,000 – $65,000,000||4%||$105,000,000 – $145,000,000||4%||4,000||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|10/8/2021||No Time to Die||$56,000,000 – $85,000,000||$140,000,000 – $240,000,000||MGM|
|10/15/2021||Halloween Kills||$35,000,000 – $55,000,000||$70,000,000 – $95,000,000||Universal Pictures|
|10/15/2021||The Last Duel||$5,000,000 – $15,000,000||$15,000,000 – $60,000,000||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|10/22/2021||Dune||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|10/22/2021||The French Dispatch||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|10/22/2021||Ron’s Gone Wrong||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|10/29/2021||Antlers||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|10/29/2021||Last Night in Soho||Focus Features|
|10/29/2021||My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission||Funimation / Toho Co. Ltd.|
|11/5/2021||Eternals||Disney / Marvel Studios|
|11/5/2021||Spencer||NEON / Topic Studios|
|11/10/2021||Clifford the Big Red Dog||Paramount Pictures|
|11/19/2021||King Richard||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|11/19/2021||Ghostbusters: Afterlife||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|11/24/2021||Encanto||Walt Disney Pictures|
|11/24/2021||House of Gucci||MGM / United Artists Releasing|
|11/24/2021||Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City||Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures|
|12/10/2021||Cyrano||United Artists Releasing|
|12/10/2021||Don’t Look Up||Netflix|
|12/10/2021||Violence of Action||STXfilms|
|12/10/2021||West Side Story (2020)||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/17/2021||Nightmare Alley||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|12/17/2021||Spider-Man: No Way Home||Sony / Columbia / Marvel Studios|
|12/22/2021||A Journal for Jordan (Wide Expansion)||Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures|
|12/22/2021||The King’s Man||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/22/2021||The Matrix Resurrections||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|12/22/2021||Sing 2||Universal Pictures|
|12/25/2021||American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story||Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company|
|12/31/2021||(no releases scheduled)|
Pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections are available exclusively to Boxoffice PRO clients. For more information on forecasts, pricing, and availability, please contact us.
As always, the news cycle is constantly evolving as the pandemic dictates. Projections are subject to change amid breaking announcements.