Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Weekend Box Office: Halloween slays the competition

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, just know that this kid, Jibrail Nantambu, steals the show
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Hope you’ve got a quiver full of Activia jokes workshopped and ready to go, because as we reported yesterday, Halloween was by far the biggest draw at the U.S. domestic box office this weekend. In the end, David Gordon Green’s much-hyped horror reboot came just $2.5 million short of breaking Venom’s record for biggest October opening of all time, bringing in $77.5 million in its opening weekend. “Second-biggest October opening of all time” still sounds pretty good, though, as does “biggest opening of any Halloween movie,” “biggest horror opening with a female lead,” and “biggest opening for any film in any genre featuring a female lead over 55, ever,” not to mention the coveted “No. 1 movie in America.”

It also represents a career high for said female lead, Jamie Lee Curtis, who celebrated Laurie Strode and her can-do attitude on Twitter:


Further down the charts, the eternal struggle between comic-book nerds and theater kids continued—through their respective proxies of Venom and A Star Is Born, of course—for the third week in a row. This week, the show-choir set emerged triumphant, as A Star Is Born held its No. 2 position and added an additional $19.3 million to its $126 million domestic haul. The fall for Venom was a bit sharper, as the Spider-Man adjacent superhero spin-off dropped from first place to third with an $18.1 million weekend. Venom also began its rollout from theaters this past weekend, however, dropping 363 screens while A Star Is Born added an additional 176. So don’t feel too sorry for the old sim-bye-ote; that’s just the nature of the business.

Save your pity for First Man, which thus far has failed to reach anything close to stratospheric returns. That film fell from third place to fifth in its second weekend, and has yet to recoup its reported $59 million production budget at the worldwide box office. If star Ryan Gosling and director Damien Chazelle don’t start getting some awards nominations—and an accompanying revenue boost—soon, prepare to see Fox News claim victory over another manufactured culture-war skirmish. (The film was shut out of this year’s Gotham Awards nominations, an early indicator of the general direction of critical sentiment for the year.)

And that film wasn’t even the biggest loser of the weekend—that dubious distinction belongs to An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn. Jim Hosking’s follow-up to his instantly infamous debut The Greasy Strangler (2016) opened on 16 screens this weekend, and brought in a paltry average of $4,000 on each of them for a $4,800 weekend total. That puts it behind Paul Dano’s Wildlife (four screens, $105,614); Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? (five screens, $150,000); and Jonah Hill’s Mid90s (four screens, $249,500). That last one was by far the weekend’s best performer in limited release, proving that, like a certain unstoppable death machine we could name, the nostalgic appeal of sk8r bois is hard to kill.

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