Rob Zombie's Halloween

Michael Myers has returned from the dead to slaughter all box office competition. The all-new MGM/Weinstein version of HALLOWEEN has exploded for an estimated $10.5M on Friday, and it’s headed for a 3-day of $30M and a spectacular 4-day Labor Day weekend of $35.775M.

The success isn’t a complete surprise. Director Rob Zombie has scored successes with low budget slasher flicks HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES ($12.6M domestic) and THE DEVIL’S REJECTS ($17M cume), and, after seeing the heavy metal rocker’s version of the 1978 John Carpenter classic, Bob and Harvey Weinstein signed Zombie to a 2-picture deal. Plus, as I reported in my Final Weekend Tracking column, HALLOWEEN opened with Total Awareness of 82% in the industry’s audience tracking along with 36% Definite Interest and a First Choice of 13%. I suggested that this could be a 4-quadrant hit since it opened the day with an 11% First Choice with Males 25 Plus and an 10% First Choice with Females Plus. I wrote that, “There will be a wave of nostalgia, but it won’t be a tsunami.” I predicted $25M+, but there is now a tsunami warning in effect.

HALLOWEEN will easily become the all-time #1 4-day Labor Day weekend champion, but who could have guessed that it would come in 44% above previous record-holder Transporter 2?

1. Halloween – $35.775M (projected)
2. Transporter 2 – $20.1M
3. Jeepers Creepers 2 – $18.3M
4. Jeepers Creepers – $15.8M
5. Crank – $12.8M
6. The Wicker Man – $11.7M
7. The Constant Gardener – $10.9M
8. The Crow: City of Angels – $9.7M
9. First Kid – $8.4M
10. Hoodlum – $8.1M

This will easily be the best 3-day opening weekend of the 9-film Michael Myers franchise.

1. Halloween (2007) – $30M (projected)
2. Halloween: H2O (1998) – $16.1M
3. Halloween: Resurrection (2002) – $12.2M
4. Halloween II (1981) – $7.4M
5. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) – $7.3M

Also as expected, Michael Myers has become the all-time #4 grossing “killer” franchise in modern box office history, surpassing Jigsaw from the SAW trilogy and trailing only Hannibal Lecter, Jason (Friday the Thirteenth) and Freddy Krueger.

1. Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs – 5 films – $425.2M
2. Jason from Friday the Thirteenth – 11 films – $315.6M
3. Freddy from Nightmare On Elm Street – 8 films – 307.4M
4. Michael Myers from Halloween – 9 films – $250.5M (includes 4-day projection)
5. Jigsaw from Saw – 3 films – $222.5M

Overall, this will be a very strong holiday weekend. SUPERBAD (Sony) has added another $3.5M, but after losing a huge bite to HALLOWEEN Friday, my sources say it will bounce back for a $13.5M 3-day weekend and a terrific 4-day of $17M.

BALLS OF FURY (Rogue Releasing) grabbed a decent $3.4M on Friday, bringing its 3-day cume to $6.3M. The poorly-reviewed Christopher Walken comedy is headed for a 3-day of $10.5M and a 4-day of $12.4M. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (Universal) was 4th on Friday with $2.6M, and it’ll bank an additional $10M by the end of Sunday business and $13M by Tuesday morning. RUSH HOUR 2 (New Line) picked up another $2M, and it’ll finish #5 for the 3-day ($8M) and the 4-day ($10.2M).

Among other new releases, DEATH SENTENCE (Fox), from SAW creator James Wan, struggled to $1.6M on its opening day. That will translate to a long weekend of only $6.6M. The results were much better for the Spanish-language caper movie LADRON QUE ROBA A LADRON (Lionsgate). Debuting at just 340 locations, LADRON scored about $440,000 or a PTA of $1,300. Its 3-day has a chance to approach $1.5M and it could have $1.8M banked by Tuesday morning.

In the specialty film market, THE NINES (NewMarket Films), a favorite from January’s Sundance Film Festival, opened on 2 screens and delivered almost $10,000. Riding excellent reviews, THE NINES will likely finish the weekend with approximately $48,000 or about $24,000 per location. Thinkfilm’s SELF-MEDICATED, on the other hand, limped to about $11,000 on 16 screens. That’s a PTA of only $680 for Friday, and the edgy teen drama will almost certainly finish the weekend with less than $50,000.


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