The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

‘Halloween Kills’ carves out $50.4 million at weekend box office

- Photos and text from wire services

“Halloween Kills” may be available to watch at home, but the latest installmen­t in the Michael Myers saga is making a killing at the North American box office in its first weekend in theaters. The David Gordon Green-directed horror scared up $50.4 million from 3,705 locations, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Universal’s “Halloween Kills” far surpassed expectatio­ns, which had the film pegged for a more conservati­ve debut in the $30 million range. It also easily bested its main competitio­n, which included the James Bond pic “No Time to Die,” in its second weekend, and Ridley Scott’s medieval epic “The Last Duel.” Both are playing exclusivel­y in theaters.

The film picks up where Green’s 2018 “Halloween” left off, on the same bloody night, with Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode. Some were surprised when the studio made the decision to release “Halloween Kills” simultaneo­usly in theaters and on NBC Universal’s Peacock for premium subscriber­s, but the day-and-date strategy does not seem to have hurt its box office haul.

Before “Halloween Kills,” which had a reported $20 million production budget, the biggest day-and-date opening of the year was Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla vs. Kong” which grossed $32.2 million in its first weekend while also being available on HBO Max. It’s a best for a pandemicer­a horror opening, narrowly beating out “A Quiet Place Part II.”

The 2018 “Halloween” was a massive hit that opened to $76.2 million and went on to gross north of $256 million against a $10 million budget. And there are plans for a third that will close out the modern Michael Myers trilogy.

The opening weekend crowd for “Halloween Kills” was slightly more male (52 percent), and it was diverse (36 percent Caucasian, 34 percent Hispanic and 18 percent Black), according to exit polls.

The James Bond film “No Time To Die” slid into second place in its second weekend in North America with $24.3 million, which is down only 56 percent from last weekend and brings its total to $99.5 million. Globally, “No Time to Die” has earned $447,521 million.

Further down the charts is “The Last Duel,” Scott’s 14th-century drama starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer and Adam Driver, which has earned only an estimated $4.8 million from 3,065 locations despite positive reviews and an exclusive theatrical run. Distribute­d by the Walt Disney Co., “The Last Duel” was a title the company inherited in the deal with 20th Century Fox.

Next week Warner Bros.’ big budget adaptation of “Dune” opens in North American theaters and on HBO Max, as does Disney’s “Ron’s Gone Wrong” and Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Halloween Kills,” $50.4 million.

2. “No Time to Die,” $24.3 million.

3. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” $16.5 million.

4. “The Addams Family 2,” $7.2 million.

5. “The Last Duel,” $4.8 million.

6. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” $3.5 million.

7. “Free Guy,” $680,000.

8. “Lamb,” $543,000.

9. “Candyman,” $460,000.

10. “Dear Evan Hansen,” $410,000.

 ?? Universal Pictures / TNS ?? Michael Myers returns in “Halloween Kills.”
Universal Pictures / TNS Michael Myers returns in “Halloween Kills.”

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