The curtains close on October with a final $64.7M weekend – sweetening the pot of the calendar month to $638M. Moviegoers come back to theaters for titles that excite them, and October had plenty on offer: Venom Let There Be Carnage, No Time to Die, Halloween Kills, and Dune. Those blockbusters elevated October’s final number higher than the previous monthly record (July’s $583.8M). While down compared to 2019 and 2018, this October was still ahead of 2017 by 12%.
Moviegoing is back on track. Cinemark, the third largest cinema chain in North America, boasted about October being the circuit’s highest grossing box office monthsince the pandemic across 42 states.
Last week’s headliner, Dune, continues to lead the box-office – tossing another $15.5M in its bag over the Halloween weekend. Now standing at a $69.4M running total, Dune’s second weekend drop of 62% is better than what we have seen from previous HBO Max day-and-date titles. The Suicide Squad and Mortal Kombat both dropped over 70% after their debuts. The difference here may have been that Dune was heavily advertised as a spectacle that must be seen on the big screen. After all, that push has led to strong $17M to-date from premium IMAX screens. Warner Bros. definitely considers Dune a success, as the studio has approved a sequel (rumored for 2023).
In the spirit of Halloween, moviegoers had several horror flicks to pick from this weekend. Halloween Kills was the top pick – clearing another $8.5M over the holiday. Despite being available on the Peacock streaming app, Halloween Kills’ box office reflects a drop of just 41% from the weekend prior. Falling behind the Michael Myers film were two of this weekend’s new releases: Last Night in Soho and Antlers. Although these new movies did not really click with moviegoers – they did click with each other. Both new releases walked away with $4.2M debuts.
The third new release, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, was more impressive. The third installment in the popular anime franchise, My Hero Academia, scored a $6.4M opening. Opening in just 1,602 theaters – the film managed to leapfrog into the top five for the weekend. Although forecasts were quiet before the weekend, the box-office shouldn’t be a surprise. The two films before it – 2020’s MHA : Heroes Rising ($13.3M) and 2018’s MHA: Two Heroes($5.8M) – had healthy runs despite the limited footprint.
Rounding out the weekend was a theater expansion for Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch – going from 52 to 788 locations after a solid $1.35M debut last weekend. Now the movie has picked up another $2.7M, bringing its total to $4.6M.
Up next, we have Disney/Marvel’s Eternals opening on Friday 11/05. Despite the review bombing that plagued previous blockbusters like Captain Marvel and Star Wars The Last Jedi (for the usual eye-rolling reasons), expect a big number from the next entry in the MCU franchise.