Long Range Box Office Forecast: Halloween Kills

Photo Credits: Universal Pictures ("Halloween KIlls")

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:

PROS:

  • 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.

CONS:

  • 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
11/12/2021 Belfast           Focus Features
11/19/2021 C’mon C’mon           A24
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 National Champions           STXfilms
11/24/2021 Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City           Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures
12/3/2021 Red Rocket           A24
12/3/2021 Wolf           Focus Features
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.