'Halloween' slashes franchise record with $77.5 million launch

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Because some of the Halloween movies attempt a very solid throughline of continuity, there are little winks and nods to things that happened previously which very almost go by unnoticed, but still manage to connect things. Coming in at $77.5 million, this is the best opening weekend for Halloween in its entire 11 (!) movie franchise history. Halloween smashed the franchise's previous record holder, Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of the '78 original, which took in $26 million United States dollars. And is the highest grossing horror movie with a female lead. Globally the film has brought in $461.2 million, and could become Sony's highest grossing 2018 release (currently it sits behind Hotel Transylvania 3).

North American moviegoers really like to be scared, and Universal gleefully accommodated them this weekend as its new release Halloween registered an impressive $76.2 million (Sh7.7 billion) in ticket sales, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported Monday. The film's opening is also the second largest ever for an R-rated horror, topping the $53.8 million opening for The Nun a month ago and behind It's $123.4 million debut last September. Meanwhile, survivor and "final-girl" archetype Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, terrific) is living in a remote home-cum-security-compound.

In addition to bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis to reprise her career-defining role, and leaning heavily on original Halloween director John Carpenter for creative input, director David Gordon Green says capturing vibe of the original 1978 film even led to some fun, off-the-cuff moments for Curtis, who offered up her vocal talents to heighten the drama in an early scene. It earned an 80% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

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The film, which was made for a relatively small $10 million, trailed only Venom for largest October box-office opening. Films such as "Get Out", "A Quiet Place" and "It" have all surprised Hollywood in recent years with big box office totals. Last year, Carpenter told "CBS Sunday Morning" that he never thought there would be any sequels to Halloween. Goosebumps 2 also held its place in the box office ranking fourth while First Man dropped two spots down to number five.

And that's not including the $14.3m (£10.9m) made in overseas box offices, either.