‘Halloween Ends’ Opening To $43M, Diluted By Peacock Day & Date – Deadline


SATURDAY AM: There’s about $10M missing from the current theatrical marketplace this weekend.

Projections for Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax/Trancas’ Halloween Ends were expected to come in around $55M and now it’s looking like $43.4M. Clearly tracking didn’t account for the theatrical-day-and-date factor. Yes, it’s still a profitable gross against the film’s $30M production cost, and Uni’s theatrical distribution in its date execution and the studio’s marketing aren’t to blame here. Those departments didn’t do anything wrong. Also don’t point a finger at Paramount’s third awesome weekend for Smile (-35% with $12M; chances are genre fans are seeing both movies). I don’t even think Halloween Ends‘ C+ Cinemascore is a reason here (the lowest grade in the recent franchise subset trilogy from David Gordon Green).

However, as one razor sharp studio executive points out “It’s hard to underestimate the day-and-date factor”. Clearly, despite the fact that Peacock, on which Halloween Ends is also available, is in 15M paid subscriber homes (a low number next to the competition).

Riddle me this, Jeff Shell: So you take a branded film, deflate its optics by making it day-and-date with a headlined lower box office number in exchange for financials, streaming viewership and subscriber numbers which can’t be immediately publicly disclosed? Or will be disclosed weeks from now? Or will never? Or will be leaked to the Wall Street Journal (remember Trolls World Tour near $100M puffy number according to sources)? And this is done at a time when the theatrical part of the business is starving and lacking product, and when Wall Street is falling out of love with streaming? It doesn’t matter that Halloween Ends is going to gross more than Barbarian or Don’t Worry Darling. Of course it will, it’s a franchise movie, duh. The point is money is being left on the table. A reminder that the equity players in Halloween Ends are Blumhouse, Trancas and Miramax, who were bought out whole for this experiment, and Uni is only getting a global distribution fee.

Essentially, if you think about it, by not going completely theatrical, there’s about $5M which isn’t going back to Universal this weekend in pure film rental (roughly 50% of the pic’s missing $10M). Possibly more will be lost as day-and-date movies have a big drop (Halloween Kills plummeted 71% in weekend 2 and that was on Peacock, too). Halloween Kills in regards to its $49.4M opening generated under a 2x leg-out factor with $92M. Whatever NBCUni makes in Peacock subscription fees is theirs to keep, not share with exhibition. Right now there’s a deal going on where you can get Peacock for $19.99 a year. So is NBCUni banking on more than 250,000 subscribers signing up? Will those subscribers stay? Whose your demo by having Halloween Ends go day and date? Older people? Because the 18-34 bunch drove most of Halloween Ends business at 65%. The conventional wisdom is that streaming subscribers who sign up off movies don’t stick; they stick around for the series. Halloween Ends is 2 1/2 stars on PostTrak, 64%. If business slows tonight due to word of mouth, it will also be impacted at the same time on the OTT service. Not exactly a win-win.

How do you celebrate Halloween Ends as a win? Certainly not in viewership. First of all, the 30-day viewership on Halloween Kills was 2.8M in terrestrial Smart TV homes per Samba TV, and that’s not a lot next to the 4.1M who watched Matt Reeves’ Batman in the first seven days when it hit HBO Max after its 45-day theatrical run. When it comes to frosh streamers right now, it’s not about viewership, it’s about subscribers. Even if 10M people watched Halloween Ends on Peacock this weekend, how much of that was fueled by piracy and copied passwords? A hard analysis of money gained versus money lost needs to be made clear here. What’s the worth in diluting a brand to prop a struggling streaming service?

Perhaps, Peacock, you just need to go build your own House of Dragon.

WarnerMedia wisely learned from the wrongs of practicing the upside-down economics of day-and-date, and NBCUni, I don’t know why you haven’t learned that yet. Streamers are on the precipice of embracing a theatrical window, for crying out loud with Netflix and its Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story experiment. As outgoing NATO President and CEO John Fithian declared at CinemaCon, “Simultaneous release is dead as a serious business model, and piracy is what killed it.”

NBCUniversal, get with the times.


Other diagnostics on Halloween Ends: the third Green directed pic in the series has now matched its predecessor, Halloween Kills, in regards to its Rotten Tomatoes critical score at 39%. Audiences aren’t that far from disagreeing with reviewers at 57% on Rotten Tomatoes. Big diversity turnout here at 33% Caucasian, 37% Latino and Hispanic, 19% Black, and 4% Asian and 7% Other. The movie exceeded in the South, South Central and Midwest with the top gross coming out of the Cinemark Tinseltown El Paso. Premium Large Format screen drove a third of ticket sales so far.

TILL, Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Mobley, UAR

On the limited side of the box office, United Artists Releasing’s Till grossed $96K yesterday at 16 theaters in five markets for what looks to be a $229K first weekend or $14,3K theater average. Solid numbers I hear from the Chinonye Chukwu directed drama’s play in NYC, LA, Chicago, Washington DC and Atlanta with a great turnout at AMC Phipps Plaza in Atlanta.

Focus Features’ expansion of Tar from four to 36 theaters in 13 markets saw $110K on Friday for a what is turning out to be a $360k second weekend or $10K a theater. Good numbers, I hear in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Toronto and Chicago.

Total ticket sales are at an estimated $82.3M, which is off 24% from the same weekend a year ago which grossed $108.9M. There were more big films in theaters back then, i.e. No Time to Die and Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

1.) Halloween Ends (Uni) 3,901 theaters, Fri $20.2M, 3-day $43.4M/Wk 1

2.) Smile (Par) 3,612 theaters (-47), Fri $3.73M (-31%), $12M (-35%), 3-day $70.7M/Wk 3

3.) Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (Sony) 4,350 theaters, Fri $2M (-43%), 3-day $7.25M (-36%)/Total: $22.6M/Wk 2

4.) The Woman King (Sony) 2,565 (-777) theaters Fri $1.35M (-26%), 3-day $3.765M (-27%)/Total $59.8M/Wk 5

5.) Amsterdam (Dis) 3,005 theaters, Fri $888K (-66%),, 3-day $2.9M (-54%)/Total: $12M/Wk 2

6.) Don’t Worry Darling (NL/WB), 2,734 (-590) theaters, Fri $740K (-35%), 3-day $2.3M (-34%)/Total $42.5M/ Wk 4

7.) Barbarian (20th/Dis) 1,805 theaters (-355), Fri $406K (-35%) 3-day $1.3M (-39%)/Total $38.9M/Wk 6

8.) Bros (Uni) 2,201 theaters (-1,155), Fri $290K (-57%) 3-day $900K (-58%)/Total $10.8M/ Wk 3

9.) Terrifier 2 (Iconic) 700 theaters (-186), Fri $250K (-2%), 3-day $803K (even), Total $2.2M/Wk 2
Talk about a window working for a low-budget horror film — this Iconic Releasing title from filmmaker Damien Leone is holding firm in sync with its $805K opening weekend.

10.) Top Gun Maverick (Par) 902 (-225) theaters, Fri $200K (-11%), 3-day $680K (-16%), Total: $715.8M/Wk 21

FRIDAY MIDDAY UPDATE: As of this minute, Halloween Ends isn’t looking as super as the forecasts had predicted — meaning in the $50M range. Still, at a $43M opening, it’s not shabby for a film that cost $30M. Remember, it is a threequel. Universal can brag that it’s the sixth year in a row (8th time) that the studio has had a No. 1 opening with a horror movie after 2017’s Get Out, 2018’s Halloween, 2019’s Us, 2020’s Freaky, 2021’s Candyman and Halloween Kills and this year’s Nope and Halloween Ends.

Today, including last night’s $5.4M previews, looks to be $20M at 3,901 theaters, just 12% under Halloween Kills’ first day. Maybe there will be a West Coast or late night bump, but that’s what the numbers are looking like as of now against historical comps of Halloween and Halloween Kills. The last Michael Myers movie posted a 24% Friday/previews-to-Saturday decline.

RelishMix on social media saw nothing but blue skies for Halloween Ends, saying that chatter spins positive about the film’s title, Halloween Ends, as they assume it’s a teaser for the future of the franchise, noting that “Michael Myers can never die because of his immortality.”

As well, the trick or treat iconography of the brand since Halloween first dropped 44 years ago when Curtis was a teenager is resonating. Super fans are also calling-out the film’s creator John Carpenter who composed this sequel.

Total social media reach is 146.5M across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter which is lower than the 2018 title which was near 193M, and about the same for Halloween Kills at 147M. Curtis and Kyle Richards lead among the cast with social media outreach at 7.8M and 6.3M.

Curtis confirmed in writing on Jimmy Kimmel that Halloween Ends is her last Halloween film…


Paramount’s ‘Smile’

Paramount Pictures

Maybe Paramount’s Smile is stealing some of the business: The third weekend of the Parker Finn horror movie is only expected to ease 37% for $11.75M and a running total of $70.5M. Friday is $3.6M, -32%, at 3,612 theaters.

The second weekend of Sony’s Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is in third place with a $1.9M Friday, -48% and 3-day of $7M at 4,350 theaters, -47%, and ten day of $22.4M.

Fourth is TriStar’s The Woman King at 2,565 theaters and a 5th Friday of $933K, -29%, $3.5M weekend, -32% for a running total of $56.6M.

Fifth place is New Regency/20th Century Studios/Disney’s Amsterdam at 3,005 for a $900K Friday, -66% and second weekend of $2.9M, -55% and ten-day of $11.9M.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Universal’s release of Blumhouse, Miramax and Trancas’ Halloween Ends saw a Thursday night of $5.4M from 3,200 theaters with showtimes beginning at 5 p.m. That figure is +11% from last year’s Halloween Kills‘ previews, which were $4.85M.

RELATED: ‘Halloween Ends’ Review: Jamie Lee Curtis Promises This Is It For Her And Michael Myers – Really??

The third Halloween movie from David Gordon Green in a subset trilogy within the franchise is set to make around $55M this weekend at 3,901 theaters. Halloween Ends cost $30M before P&A. The pic wasn’t exclusive to theaters for one night before also hitting streaming service Peacock on the paid subscriber tier; it became available at 8 pm ET, Deadline has just learned. Again, it’s not that Universal doesn’t have any faith in theatrical, Peacock at 15M paid subscribers and needs more. Similar to Halloween Kills, which Uni also pulled this theatrical day-and-date on, the studio has bought out the creative players’ backends, making them whole as though the movie was a tentpole hit given the pivot to Peacock.

Green’s first Halloween movie back in 2018, which brought back an older and wiser Laurie Strode played by Jamie Lee Curtis, is the best-grossing of the trio with $7.7M in Thursday night previews, a $33M opening Friday and $76.2M first weekend, which was exclusively theatrical. That movie also was the fourth-best opening for the month of October and, more amazingly, electrified what was typically a dead zone for films in the latter part of the month.

Last year, Uni went theatrical day-and-date on Halloween Kills out of caution for moviegoers during the pandemic, and also to spike Peacock subs. The pic posted the best opening for a horror film during the pandemic and the second best for a day-and-date title (after Black Widow‘s $80M) with $49.4M after a $4.85M Thursday previews, which repped 21% of the pic’s $22.8M first Friday.

Critics largely liked Green’s 2018 Halloween at 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, with audiences giving it a B+. However, film reviewers have turned their backs on the sequels, giving Halloweens Kills and Halloween Ends respective 39% and 47% Rotten grades. Auds gave Halloween Kills a B- CinemaScore (average grades for a genre movie are between a B and a C+).

Jaclyn Hall and Danielle Deadwyler in TILL

Jalyn Hall as Emmett Till and Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till Mobley in ‘Till.’

Lynsey Weatherspoon/Orion Pictures

Opening limited this weekend is United Artists Releasing/Eon’s Chinonye Chukwu-directed drama Till at 16 locations in five markets. The movie about Emmett Till’s mother, who vows to expose the racism behind his 1955 lynching, stands at 100% off 43 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes in the wake of its New York Film Festival world premiere. Till will expand to additional markets and theaters in coming weeks.

‘Till’ NYFF Review: Chinonye Chukwu Handles The Emmett Till Story With Care

Among those films in regular release, Paramount’s horror pic Smile grossed an estimated $1.5M yesterday, -8% from Wednesday at 3,659 putting its two-week running total at $58.6M after a $26.4M second week. The movie is expected to ease 55% in its third go-round.

Sony’s family animated/live-action title Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile ends its first week with $15.4M at 4,350 theaters. Thursday was an estimated $700K, +16% from Wednesday.

New Regency/20th Century Studios/Disney’s David O. Russell period comedy, Amsterdam, which is set to lose as much as $100M, ended its first week with $9M at 3,005 theaters. Thursday was around $440K, -15% from Wednesday.

RELATED: Peter Bart: An Autopsy Of DOA ‘Amsterdam’ Reveals Worries For Other Grownup Fall Releases

Booked at 3,342 theaters, TriStar’s The Woman King ends its fourth week with $7.2M, for a running total of $56M after a $420K Thursday, +10% from Wednesday at 3,342.

New Line’s Don’t Worry Darling saw a third week of $5.2M at 3,324, a $40.2M running total after a $365K Thursday, -2% from Wednesday.