“Get the heck off my playground,” Michael Myers (probably) shouts at Barbarian, The Invitation, and Smile. Granted, everyone out there is shouting at Universal that they continue to butcher their philosophies and marketability by doing dual releases in theaters and on Peacock. Simply because people make projections doesn’t mean a film is guaranteed to meet those expectations, especially when so many intricate factors are at play. A $40 million opening domestic weekend for Halloweens Ends is almost a big win for a low-budget horror series. And if people are still sweating about numbers, know that Ends made 83% of Halloween Kills‘s $49 domestic launch.
If we do the math correctly here, that puts it on the par for the course for other “meh” trilogy enders such as Star Wars 9, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, and Fifty Shades Freed, all of which opened to 80% of what their predecessors made. Calm down, folks; people still enjoy their horror films. Granted, not every single franchise capper can conclude as well as Harry Potter 7.2 or Avengers: Endgame, or LOTR: The Return of the King, especially with mediocre reviews and nothing substantial to offer than a finale for Jamie Lee Curtis’s 40+ year time with Michael Myers in her shadows. As the person composing this, the conclusion offered barely of the main two characters, for 85% of the film! Whoever thought writing a cumbersome finale should stand uneasy, knowing this is how the time wrapped up for veterans like Curtis and James Jude Courtney.
Moving on, the dual release probably impacted the film’s opening a bit, but we’re not discussing some grand opportunity with Peacock’s services or how the film was the “most-watched on their platform within two days.’ Hypothetically, $50 million would’ve been a much easier feat if it were distributed solely in theaters. The other Halloween films were severely frontloaded (2018’s with a $77 million debut and 2021’s with a $49 million debut), so expecting good legs for this won’t be in the same favor as it has been for other horror films holding the fort down.
Smile might’ve lost the weekend to Michael Myers, but could win out possibly once the theatrical time dies down. It dropped 32% in its third weekend, bringing its domestic cume to $71.3 million and $137.5 million worldwide. Once it passes Jordan Peele’s Nope, it’ll become the highest-grossing original film of the year; Paramount remains the low-key MVP of 2022. Barbarian earned $1.37 million in its 6th weekend. Terrifier 2 made $850k in 700 theaters. And The Invitation has earned $33 million on a $10 million budget. It simply wins for horror all around.
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile earned $7.4 million in weekend two, proving its IP isn’t as big as Peter Rabbit or Clifford the Big Red Dog. The Woman King earned $3.7 million for a $60 million domestic and $76.5 million worldwide total; this should be a frontrunner for the Oscar season. Amsterdam, meanwhile, continues to crash and burn, earning $2.89 million (55% drop) in its second weekend and a horrendous $12 million domestic and $18.5 million worldwide. It pains to look at how much this feature bombed, especially with a star-driven cast, but folks don’t exactly show up for films they don’t get much of a jibe from the marketing team. Don’t Worry Darling dropped 36% in its fourth weekend, now at $73 million globally. And somehow, Top Gun: Maverick is holding on in the top-10 positions to keep treading its money pile.
This coming weekend sees Dwayne Johnson arrive on the screens as the dark antihero in Black Adam.