Until this year there were only ever six films to open in October and gross $150 million or more. And never two within the same year. 2018 is going to see three. Venom is already there and approaching $200 million. A Star is Born will be crossing the line this week and the no. 1 film for the second weekend in a row, Halloween, could be there by the end of next weekend, having earned $32 million this weekend. Those are pretty extraordinary numbers, particularly with two of the films having opened on the same weekend.
David Gordon Green’s Halloween led the box office for a second straight week, and has now made $126.6 million in its first 10 days. Could the movie pass Get Out ($176 million domestically) to become Blumhouse’s highest domestic grosser, and could it reach the $200 million mark? With an October 31 bump, and horror still on people’s minds, it does have a chance. Of the 11 films to gross between $123 million and $129 million in their first 10 days, eight of them reached $200 million: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Maleficent, WALL-E, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, World War Z, Superman Returns, and Spectre. Venom was at $142 million on its 10th day ($14 million ahead of Halloween) and is going to reach $200 million with little fuss, with a current total of $187 million.
The lowest opening Gerard Butler has ever had with a film bowing in more than 2,500 theaters was the romantic comedy, Playing for Keeps. It started with $5.7 million in 2,837 theaters. The submarine thriller, Hunter Killer, which sits at 36% on the Tomatometer, made just $6.6 million this weekend in 2,728 theaters for a $2,419 per-theater-average. Playing for Keeps posted a $2,027 average and Guy Ritchie’s Rocknrolla, in which Butler also starred, posted a $2,267 average. Elsewhere this weekend, PureFlix’s faith-based Indivisible (64% on the Tomatometer) made just $1.5 million in 830 theaters, which was the distributor’s smallest opening weekend since last year’s A Question of Faith was released in 661 theaters to a cool $1 million.
Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born continues its impressive run. The film has now earned $148 million in 24 days, putting it between 2012 and The LEGO Batman Movie on the all-time chart for earnings at this stage of its run, which suggests a final gross between $166 million and $175 million. Though you can expect a more likely final total between $176 and $188 million. Its worldwide total is up to $253 million. Venom, meanwhile, has earned over $186 million in the same timeframe, which places it between The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure: Book of Secrets at this point in its release, giving it a final estimate of $217-$219 million. Its worldwide total stands at $508 million.
Johnny English Strikes Again (32% on the Tomatometer) did not make the top 10 this week, making $1.6 million – albeit in just 544 theaters. (That’s a better per-theater-average than Hunter Killer and Indivisible.) But the film has already topped over $100 million worldwide, which is more than can be said of Universal’s First Man, which is now sitting at $74 million worldwide ($37.8 million of which has been earned in the U.S.). Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s (Certified Fresh at 78%), cracked the top 10 with $3 million after expanding to 1,206 theaters. That $2,487 per-theater-average is a far cry from last week’s $58,000 per-theater-average, earned from four theaters, which was the sixth best in A24’s history. Its total take now stands at $3.3 million.
Amazon’s Beautiful Boy with Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet was upped to 190 theaters and grossed $592,000 for a total of $1.4 million. It will expand nationwide next weekend. Fox Searchlight’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, starring Oscar hopeful Melissa McCarthy – one of the year’s best-reviewed movies, with a 99% Tomatometer score – moved into 25 theaters and grossed $380,000 for a total of $610,000. Fox Searchlight also expanded David Lowery’s The Old Man & The Gun with Robert Redford into another 240 theaters (1,042 total); the film grossed $1.8 million for a total of $7.2 million.
Finally, Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Dario Argento’s Suspiria (69% on the Tomatometer) opened in just two theaters and grossed a huge $179,000. Its $89,500 per-theater-average is the highest of 2018, surpassing Eighth Grade, which had a $65,949 per-theater-average from four theaters on its first weekend. The number up there with some of the biggest-ever two-theater openings, such as Aladdin ($196,664), Evita ($195,085), The Nightmare Before Christmas ($191,232), and There Will Be Blood ($190,739)
The final week of October 2017 featured the return of the Saw franchise with Jigsaw. Though it opened at no. 1 with $16.6 million, audiences virtually ignored it for the rest of its run, making it the second lowest-grossing film in the series with just over $38 million total. (Saw VI grossed just $27.4 million in 2009 after the Paranormal Activity series replaced Saw as the go-to franchise for the Halloween season.) On the other hand, Jigsaw’s opening number was better than the combined final grosses of the Certified Fresh Thank You For Service ($3.8 million opening / $9.5 million total) and George Clooney’s Rotten Suburbicon ($2.8 million opening / $5.7 million total). The weekend’s top 10 grossed a total just shy of $57.9 million and averaged 55.2% on the Tomatometer; this year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $92.1 million with an average Tomatometer score of 64.9%.
It’s the tale of departing directors next weekend, starting with Bryan Singer’s (and Dexter Fletcher’s) tale of Freddie Mercury and Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody will likely shoot to the no. 1 spot and Fox is hoping to draw enough attention to Rami Malek’s performance as Mercury to make him a serious awards contender. Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms from Lasse Hallström (and Joe Johnston) may be more in the A Wrinkle in Time /Alice Through the Looking Glass realm for the studio of the box office. Tyler Perry returns with just his second R-rated film to date, Nobody’s Fool, with Tiffany Haddish in the lead.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]