Halloween, the latest installment of the seminal slasher franchise of the same name, was the big winner at this weekend’s box office, earning $77 million and giving it the biggest opening for a horror film during the Halloween season. It is also the second highest horror film opening of an R-rated horror flick, right behind the $123.4 million that It: Chapter One earned in September 2017.
The previous horror film record holder for the October timeframe was 2011’s Paranormal Activity 3, which pulled in $52.6 million. Traditionally, an opening weekend of $30 to $40 million is considered strong for an R-rated horror film.
Interestingly, while most horror films play predominantly to younger audiences, only 40% of attendees were in the under 25 years old demographic. Thirty-two percent of the audience was between the ages of 25 and 34, a prime age to have grown up with the franchise both in theaters and on home video.
Director David Gordon Green made his new film a direct sequel to the original 1978 slasher and swept aside the myriad of sequels that had followed. Franchise creator John Carpenter was brought on as a creative consultant, but the big draw of the picture was the return of the original film’s star Jamie Lee Curtis to once again portray heroine Laurie Strode.