Box Office: ‘Halloween Kills’ Nabs Huge $50M Weekend As ‘Last Duel’ Flops With $5M

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), and Karen (Judy Greer), in Halloween Kills, directed David Gordon Green. 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved
Halloween Kills opened just as well without-Covid as it did a year ago, while The Last Duel was beaten by The Michael Myers slasher as well as the James Bond adventure.

Peacock did not have a review of Halloween Kills. I don't know how many people saw it. I don't know how many households subscribed to Peacock to be able to watch the Jamie Lee Curtis-starring sequel at home. But I do know that Blumhouse and Universals $20 million horror flick opened with $50.35 million in its domestic debut, which is pretty damn close to where it likely would have ended up in a non-Covid/non-Peacock world. While Halloween's previous opening was a success, this sequel wasn't going to be as successful. It isn't a huge disappointment, even though it might have opened if it was not underwhelmed in non Covid times. But this film was a strong business debut.

The previous Halloween received decent reviews (79% fresh, 6.8/10 on Rotten Tomatoes), as well as lots of publicity due to Jamie Lee Curtis's return as Laurie Strode. Legacy sequels are a hot trend right now. This picture was embraced by #MeToo-era girls getting it done screed about generations of trauma. The slasher was a joint effort by Danny McBrides and David Gordon Green. It earned $159 million in domestic sales and $256 millions worldwide. This is 41% of the total $621 million global box office for the first 11 films. A sequel to a horror film that grossed $10 million can be afforded a downturn if it is 25x its budget.

Reviews were poor (38% rotten, 5.1/10), and many critics emphasized the lack of Laurie Strode screen time versus Michael Myers. You would lose the curious and non-horror moviegoers, regardless of the event status. This is comparable to the comparative debuts of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom ($148m versus $208m for Jurassic World), and Fate of the Furious (99 million versus $147m for Furious 7). It is also close to the 26% difference between domestic debuts of It Chapter Two ($91million) and It ($123million). It isn't a huge disappointment, although it could have opened if it was not underwhelmed in non Covid times. But this is a business-as usual breakout debut.

The second of three Blumhouse-produced Michael Myers melodramas earned a 2.185x weekend multiplier. This was not far from the 2.33x multiplier ($76million from a Friday budget of $33 million) for Halloween. The Jamie Lee Curtis/Judy Greer/Andi Mateichak slasher earned $159 million domestically and $256 millions worldwide, all on a $10m budget. It will still make $104 million domestic if it follows the same domestic path. This is in line with the fall from Rob Zombies Halloween (55 million) to Rob Zombies Halloween II (37 million). It also has a better hold that Halloween II ($25million versus $47million for Halloween) or Halloween Resurrection (30 million versus $55million for Halloween: H20).

Halloween Kills opened just above the Fri-Sun debut of A Quiet Place part II, which cost $57 million on Fri-Mon Labor Day. This was to secure the year's biggest horror debut (your move Clifford the Big Red Dog). This is the largest R-rated opening since Bad Boys for Life ($62 million Frisun/$73million Frisun) in January 2020. It will likely remain that way until The Matrix Resurrections, December 22. Peacock is simultaneously showing the film. Either no one subscribes to Peacock or the day-and-date release of preordained biggies has minimal effect. Although it's possible that some of them are both, it seems that the theater failures of In the Heights or Malignant lie not in HBO Max but rather in us.

Ben Affleck plays Pierre d'Alenon; Adam Driver portrays Jacques Le Gris; Matt Damon portrays Jean de Carrouges. Jessica Forde. 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved. Jessica Forde

Ridley Scott's highly-reviewed The Last Duel was released with just $4.8million domestic and $9 million worldwide. Matt Damon and Adam Driver star in the medieval melodrama as political rivals who are war friends turned political enemies. They were dueling over an allegation of rape by Damon's wife Jodie Comer. This epic is filled with hatred for systemic misogyny, arbitrary distinctions between power and class and features a screenplay written by Affleck and Damon in a Rashomon-like format. The Last Duel would have been an excellent way to demonstrate that Disney should not use 20th Century Studios only for Deadpool, Avatar, and Disney+ kiddie reboots.

I'm not surprised. Pandemic-era moviegoers will be more concentrated among the few seasonal events movies. Since 2015, this trend has been increasing as people who don't want to miss a movie have shifted to streaming services for casual entertainment. Although the movie's title doesn't sound like it would be suitable for a babysitter, I will argue that the film is both respectful of the subject matter as well as offering top-of-the-line Hollywood entertainment. The grown-ups who might have been more willing to spend their money on this film in a more accommodating time would either choose No Time to Die, or Halloween Kills. Ridley Scott will have another chance to save the grown-up movie by saving it with MGMs House of Gucci (starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, Al Pacino etc.). Over Thanksgiving

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