"You take the nostalgia for 'Halloween, ' especially with the return of Jamie Lee Curtis, and you combine that with the Blumhouse brand and its contemporary currency in the genre and it just made for a ridiculously potent combination at the box office this weekend", said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution. Curtis previously appeared in four films in the series, including the 1978 original, its 1981 sequel, 1998's Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and Resurrection.
"Halloween" also notched the second-best start for an R-rated horror film following the $123-million launch of "It".
In some ways, the new Halloween film is - like its predecessor - blissfully simple, the story of a determined woman (Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode) taking on an unstoppable killing machine in the form of Michael Myers (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney).
David Gordon Green's "Halloween", a direct sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 classic, obliterated the franchise record opening of $26 million, previously held by the 2007 Rob Zombie reboot. The strategy to open it at the Toronto Film Festival and premiere it in America during Fantastic Fest probably helped, too, but make no mistake: Jamie Lee Curtis was a huge selling point, right along with the October release date.
Reviews have been largely positive for the new installment, with an 80 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ Cinema Score from audiences that were mostly older (59 percent over 25) and male (53 percent). The film should continue to perform well this weekend ahead of Halloween, as well.
Horror-master John Carpenter was executive producer and was joined by lead producer Jason Blum (Get Out and The Purge), so you can probably see why the film is doing so well. Sound off in the comments!