In the battle of not-screened-for-critics horror franchise cash-ins, The Final Destination won the weekend over Halloween II, proving the current vogue for 3-D and mechanized death has more of a draw than Rob Zombie’s old-school grindhouse gore. At $28 million in receipts, The Final Destination cruised to #1, and raised the question: Will this be yet another Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter situation where the supposed franchise-ender will not be anywhere close to the last entry? Look for Final Destination: A New Beginning in theaters two years from now, perhaps in mind-blowing 4-D.
The Weinstein Company’s counterintuitive strategy to siphon off viewers from its own movies paid off—or didn’t—with Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds holding strong at #2 in its second weekend with $20 million (total gross now at $73 million and counting) and Zombie’s Halloween II putting in a relatively strong showing at #3 to the tune of $17.4 million. It’s hard to say whether the Weinsteins would have benefited by putting more distance between its releases, but their troubled company finally has some good news to report. Rounding out this week’s wide (or in this case, semi-wide) releases, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock rode middling reviews to dismal box office, limping in at #9 for $3.7 million.
In limited release, The September Issue, a documentary profile of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, was a massive hit at $40,000 per screen, cruising on the interest drummed up by the Wintour-inspired book and movie The Devil Wears Prada. Big Fan also enjoyed a healthy $13,000 per screen average, the second best in the specialty market. Both films are rolling out—Big Fan more slowly than The September Issue—to other cities within the next couple of months.
More detailed numbers at Box Office Mojo.