No matter how you look at the numbers, “Halloween Ends” had a good opening weekend.
Touted as the final showdown between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, the slasher pic earned $41.3 million in ticket sales from 3,901 theaters in North America, according to studio estimates Sunday. It’s the first film to open higher than $40 million since “Nope” debuted in July and it surpassed its production budget, which has been reported to be between $20 and $30 million. Including international showings, it boasts a global total of $58.4 million.
It also renewed an evergreen debate about day-and-date movie releases and some in Hollywood are wondering whether it could have been even bigger if it hadn’t debuted simultaneously on Peacock, NBC Universal’s streaming service. Going into the weekend, some analysts had pegged “Halloween Ends” for an opening in the $50 to $55 million range. “Halloween Kills,” the previous installment in the David Gordon Green-directed “Halloween” trilogy,” opened day-and-date last year and still grossed $49 million on opening weekend.
Green’s first “Halloween,” by contrast, debuted to $76.2 million in 2018. But that was pre-pandemic, theatrical release only and the highly anticipated revival of a beloved franchise with good reviews. His subsequent “Halloween” films were more divisive among critics and fans, however. “Kills” had a 39% Rotten Tomatoes score while “Ends” has a 40%.
“Smile,” meanwhile, has continued to defy horror-movie odds with another strong weekend. Paramount’s original thriller added $12.4 million, bringing its domestic total to $71.2 million after three weeks.
In limited release, United Artists Releasing’s Mamie Till-Mobley film “TILL” got off to a strong start with $240,940 from only 16 locations. Director Chinonye Chukwu’s fact-based account of Emmett Till’s mother’s quest for justice will be expanding in the coming weeks.
Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
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