Long Range Tracking: Will ‘Halloween’ Slash Genre Records This October?

This week’s report moves deeper into October with an early look at the final tentpole candidate release before holiday season officially begins.

Halloween (2018)
Opening Weekend Range: $50 – 85 million

Longtime fans of the venerable horror franchise are ecstatic about John Carpenter’s return to the series in a significant producing role, as well as the involvement of modern horror master Jason Blum. The return of star Jamie Lee Curtis and strong intrigue around the screenplay from Danny McBride and director David Gordon Green have only added to the general hope that this will not only revive the franchise in a significant way, but also benefit from the wave of smart horror films that have continued to exceed even optimistic expectations at the box office.

As is typical with common-word titles, Twitter metrics will be volatile for the time being — but it is worth noting that the film is outpacing the likes of A Quiet Place and Split thus far, with very positive sentiment scores driven by strong reactions to the first trailer.

The cautionary tale here is that recent 80s-era franchise revivals like Blade Runner 2049 and Alien: Covenant haven’t caught on with younger audiences, a factor worth keeping in mind since this film is a continuation of the original 1978 film that ignores the events of its numerous sequels. The flip-side of that coin is obviously the runaway blockbuster success of last year’s It — which proved to be one of the most decidedly four-quadrant horror films of all-time — but it didn’t require any pre-existing knowledge of the franchise from newcomers.

The titular holiday’s landing in the middle of this film’s second week of release adds another dose of commercial synergy, which could further enhance prospects of appealing beyond the older fan base and capturing the nostalgia zeitgeist.

Reviews will be key to watch for, but with minimal direct competition, intense fan interest, and a strong early ad campaign, Halloween is well-positioned to deliver one of the best debuts ever for a slasher flick — needing only to top the 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th ($40.6 million) for the all-time record in that sub-genre. Adjusted for inflation, the slasher benchmark belongs to Scream 2 ($32.9 million non-adjusted / $66+ million in 2018 prices).

Halloween also has an excellent chance to post the second highest R-rated horror opening of all-time behind It ($123.4 million), needing to surpass Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.6 million) for that feat.

Ultimately, we believe there may yet be more upside in future tracking as interest and awareness grow in the coming weeks.

8-Week Tracking

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
8/29/2018 Operation Finale $6,750,000 13% $21,300,000 12% 1,800 MGM
8/31/2018 Kin $5,000,000 $11,000,000 -13% 2,100 Lionsgate / Summit
8/31/2018 Searching n/a n/a 1,100 Sony / Screen Gems
8/31/2018 Ya Veremos n/a n/a 350 Pantelion
9/7/2018 God Bless the Broken Road $1,500,000 $3,750,000 750 Freestyle Releasing
9/7/2018 The Nun $39,000,000 $93,000,000 3,500 Warner Bros. / New Line
9/7/2018 Peppermint $13,000,000 8% $34,000,000 2% 3,200 STX Entertainment
9/14/2018 The Predator (2018) $30,000,000 7% $66,000,000 2% Fox
9/14/2018 A Simple Favor $14,000,000 $40,000,000 Lionsgate
9/14/2018 Unbroken: Path to Redemption $2,000,000 $4,900,000 Pure Flix
9/14/2018 White Boy Rick $10,000,000 33% $32,000,000 33% Sony / Studio 8
9/21/2018 Fahrenheit 11/9 n/a n/a Briarcliff
9/21/2018 The House with a Clock In Its Walls $24,000,000 $79,000,000 Universal
9/21/2018 Life Itself n/a n/a Amazon Studios
9/28/2018 Hell Fest $9,500,000 $22,000,000 Lionsgate / CBS Films
9/28/2018 Little Women (2018) n/a n/a Pinnacle Peak
9/28/2018 Night School (2018) $17,500,000 $55,000,000 Universal
9/28/2018 Smallfoot $23,000,000 $80,000,000 Warner Bros.
10/5/2018 A Star Is Born $30,000,000 $140,000,000 Warner Bros.
10/5/2018 Venom (2018) $65,000,000 $135,000,000 Sony / Columbia
10/12/2018 Bad Times at the El Royale $13,000,000 $40,000,000 Fox
10/12/2018 First Man $20,000,000 $90,000,000 Universal
10/12/2018 Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween $14,000,000 $45,000,000 Sony / Columbia
10/19/2018 Halloween (2018) $60,000,000 NEW $142,000,000 NEW Universal
10/19/2018 The Hate U Give n/a n/a Fox
10/19/2018 Serenity (2018) n/a n/a Aviron

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