Halloween Does Its Tricks, Gets Its Treats

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Forget the candy corn. Forget the bite-size chocolate bars. Halloween came a-knocking this weekend, and audiences filled its bag with lots of cold, hard cash.

Halloween, a direct sequel to that 40-year-old slasher “classic” once again starring Jamie Lee Curtis, knifed its way to an estimated $77.5 million in North America. That would’ve been an October record if Venom hadn’t already set a new bar just three short weeks ago. It also illustrates just how hot horror is these days: According to Box Office Mojo, Halloween’s debut was the second-largest ever for an R-rated horror movie, behind the $123.4 million that It made (the movie It, naturally) and ahead of The Nun’s $53.8 million seven weeks ago.

All three films were released in the last 13 months. Scary times at the multiplex indeed.

But not every screen holds a scream. Lots of moviegoers continued to flock to see Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga sing and cry and stuff, too. A Star Is Born earned another $19.3 million domestically, finishing second in the box-office standings for the third-straight week. Its overall earnings now stand just north of $126 million, and obviously it’s not done singing yet.

After two weeks at No. 1, Sony’s super-antihero (anti-superhero?) Venom slid to third place with $18.1 million. That pushes its overall gross to $171.1 million—just outside 2018’s top 10 money-earners. (Crazy Rich Asians currently sits in that coveted 10th slot with $171.7 million.) After Venom officially slithers into the top 10 sometime this week, that will put six superhero movies on the list: No. 1 Black Panther ($700.1 million); No. 2 Avengers: Infinity War ($678.8 million); No. 3 Incredibles 2 ($607.6 million); No. 5 Deadpool 2 ($318.5 million); and No. 7 Ant-Man and the Wasp ($216.6 million) being the others. Just in case you were interested.

Meanwhile, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween finished fourth with $9.7 million, while First Man safely landed in the top five with $8.6 million.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 25 days ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

And they say superhero fatigue is a thing.

(By the way, Venom came out two weeks ago, not three.)
Anonymous 25 days ago
I wouldn’t count superhero fatigue out just yet. Network television’s superhero series are all flagging (Agents of Shield and The Gifted are struggling), while Netflix just cancelled not one but two of their superhero series, and The CW’s heroverse is probably on its last legs with mediocre numbers all around. Now, that’s just television, but I do believe we could see the trend repeat itself in the movies. For example, I don’t have much confidence in Dark Phoenix - but who does? And the DC universe is struggling to say the least, with its two lead actors jumping ship - or perhaps being tossed overboard - with the departure of Cavill and Affleck following the embarrassing failure of Justice League, which was supposed to be their Avengers and was decidedly nothing of the sort. As for Marvel, they’re still chugging along, but with Gunn’s firing and rehiring by DC, trouble may be ahead for them too, only time will tell. As I mentioned with Dark Phoenix, X-Men - outside of Wolverine of course - has pretty much become a convoluted, troubled joke.

For me, I can only hope that non hero movies start dominating the box office again. This formulaic stuff is getting really, really old.
Anonymous 25 days ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

In terms of the TV shows, I really wonder why some shows  are still airing, like SHIELD. It really should have ended a few seasons ago and I’m unsure as to why Marvel chose Agents if SHIELD over Agent Carter (a much better show imo).

As for the movies, I feel like they will inevitably get out of fashion, but it might not be for another 3-5 years at least. True, DC has been struggling, but they have been cleaning up their act lately and will hopefully get better, and the X-Men will inevitably get included into the MCU thanks to the Fox/Disney deal (which really begs the question as to why they’re still releasing Dark Phoenix).

Ultimately, if superhero movies continue to be fresh and different from each other instead of becoming by the number good guy stops bad guy events, the superhero genre will tire out later rather than sooner.

(Also, Cavill isn’t confirmed to be gone as Superman. While Affleck is probably gone (unfortunately), it’s not confirmed that Cavill is.)
Rocketshipper 25 days ago
Trying to reply to the comment below, but there was not a reply button for some reason.

Anyway...Dark Phoenix and New Mutants are already mostly done (outside of re-shoots, which were not connected to the Fox deal), and it wouldn't really be a smart decision for them to just dump the movies entirely without a release.  And unlike "Amazing Spiderman", Fox's X-men series is well established and popular, so it wouldn't be in marvel/disney's best interest to snub its fans by just cancelling and rebooting it.  I suspect Marvel may make an effort to integrate the franchise or else allow it some sort of finale before rebooting it in the MCU.  They can;t even start thinking about what to do with the X-men till 2019 or 2020 anyway.  And also...there's Deadpool.  Whatever else they do, Marvel and Disney would be crazy to mess with that franchise  
Anonymous 24 days ago
 @Rocketshipper 
I agree. Deadpool is gold for Fox. They wouldn't dare touch it.
I've always thought a Spider-man v Deadpool would be pretty great. 
-Davidiswise The Clown
charitysplace 23 days ago
I thought the last X-Men movie was terrible. It was so boring, I gave up trying to sit through it twice. But Dark Phoenix doesn't look half bad. Might wait for the rental though. Not sure it's worth a theater trip.
Kal El 21 days ago
Can I help you with some fact checking (I’m a super hero geek, sorry)?

1- so far as we know Iron Fist and Luke Cage weren’t cancelled due to poor viewership. True S1 of IF floundered for quite a few viewers, but S2 was trumpeted as a vast improvement, so it’s unlikely it was cancelled over response. Likewise, Cage has a healthy viewership. So the smart money is on one or both of the following being the reason for their cancelations:
A. They’re being replaced by a Heroes For Hire show (if you’re familiar with the comic lore you already know Danny and Luke form a company/duo called Heroes For Hire, so it’s always been in the cards).
B. Disney is systematically reclaiming their Netflix shows so they can move them to DisneyPlay when it launches next year. If Jessica Jones and the others get cancelled coming up we’ll know for sure.

2- How many people have confidence in XMDP? Depends where you look. MCU fanboys (that is, the people who hate or skip anything not connected to the MCU) will surely trash it, but every die hard X-Men fan I know is interested in seeing it (myself included). Let’s just see how it and New Mutants perform.

3- Justice League didn’t fail, it underperformed (thanks WB, for butchering the original cut of the film by an hour). This is common wrong terminology in the film world nowadays, any movie that doesn’t break the box office is labeled a failure, but if it made back more than they spent that’s not quite accurate, is it?

4- Cavill and Affleck aren’t out, that’s just a rumor (and Cavill, his manager, and WB debunked his).

Hope that helps! :-)