Dune, Antlers, Last Night In Soho Had A Scary Bad Halloween At The Box Office

Halloween happened over the weekend, and given that the holiday all but didn't happen in 2020, there was much pent-up desire to enjoy the spooky season properly this year. While that was surely rewarding in its own way for those who observe the holiday, it wasn't great for the box office as the weekend's new offerings, namely "Antlers" and "Last Night In Soho," suffered (at least in part) as a result. The weekend wasn't that kind to "Dune," either, or virtually any other movie that was vying for attention and moviegoer money, save for "Halloween Kills," and, amazingly enough, "My Hero Academia." Let's have a closer look at the numbers.

Dune Takes a Plunge

The industry and Film Twitter celebrated en masse when "Dune" exceeded expectations at the domestic box office last weekend. However, as we've seen with other movies that have been released day-and-date both in theaters and on streaming this year, the week-to-week plunge can be ugly. Just look at "Black Widow." 

Such was the case with director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel. Dropping a huge 62.1 percent in week two, "Dune" earned another $15.5 million according to Box Office Mojo. While not quite catastrophic, it's not great. Perhaps to further illustrate how bad the weekend was overall, that was good enough for the top spot this weekend, when $40.1 million was the figure for the victor last weekend. Brutal.

"Dune" now stands at $296 million worldwide and will cross $300 million any day now. Whether or not it can cross $400 million and justify its $160 million (ish) budget may be somewhat irrelevant as Legendary and Warner Bros. have already announced "Dune Part Two" for 2023. The spice must flow, as it were.

Antlers and Last Night In Soho Fall Flat

Both Searchlight Pictures (owned by Disney) and Focus Features decided to get in on the Halloween good by releasing a pair of arthouse horror flicks, albeit radically different ones, in the form of director Scott Cooper's "Antlers" and Edgar Wright's "Last Night In Soho." Unfortunately, neither title managed to break through with moviegoers, with each movie earning a reported $4.1 million. The commonality here is that both movies were delayed significantly by the pandemic, and it seems neither one is destined to become a hit. At least not purely based on the box office alone.

"Last Night In Soho," which stars Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy, is serving as a blow to mid-budget cinema, with the movie's budget said to be $43 million. That does not account for marketing. "Antlers," a creature feature produced by Guillermo del Toro, does not have a listed budget, though it may also fall somewhere in the mid-budget camp. For what it's worth, Focus distribution chief Lisa Bunnell said in a statement to Deadline that Wright's latest did what they wanted it to do:

"I am just really happy we got this movie out into theaters. We achieved what we wanted to with the film and for Edgar."

That seems like the studio attempting to put a positive spin on things, though it fared well with critics — it's currently sitting at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes paired with a stellar 92% audience rating. "Antlers" is fighting more of an uphill battle at 59% with critics and 71% with audiences. The unfortunate thing here is that future mid-budget movies such as these will either not exist at all, or will be made with streaming in mind. They are becoming increasingly tough to sell in the theatrical marketplace.

And the Rest...

"Halloween Kills," on the other hand, appropriately benefited from the Halloween weekend crowd, taking in $8.5 million in its third week of release. It now stands at $115 million worldwide, which is amazing considering that it is also streaming on Peacock for free to subscribers. That's good news for "Halloween Ends," which is expected to hit theaters next year. "No Time to Die" came in at number three with $7.8 million, good enough to get Daniel Craig's final turn as James Bond passed the $600 million mark, globally. It still has a long way to go to become profitable, but this is good, overall, for the movie business.

The biggest surprise of the weekend was "My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission." The latest animated feature within the popular franchise earned $6.4 million playing on just 1,580 screens. For reference, "Last Night In Soho" played on over 3,000. It is, if nothing else, nice to have at least one bright spot in an otherwise kind of ugly weekend. Speaking of bright spots, Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch" expanded to 788 theaters and earned $2.7 million. It's still got a long way to go to be a hit, but it's on the right track. "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" rounded out the top five by taking in another $5.7 million in its fifth weekend. It now stands at $395 million worldwide and will pass the $400 million mark any day now.

In more ugly news, 20th Century Studios and Disney got hit with a flop in "Ron's Gone Wrong," which earned just $3.8 million in its second week of release, and $33 million worldwide. And last but not least, also from 20th Century Studios, Ridley Scott's acclaimed historical epic "The Last Duel" fell all the way to the number 12 spot in its third week, taking in just $558 thousand. It has only earned $23 million worldwide from a $100 million budget. We can only hope Scott's "House of Gucci" fares better.

Looking ahead to next week, we have a likely hit in the form of Marvel's "Eternals," though with critics divided on this one, it will be interesting to see how things shake out.