‘Halloween’ massive box office threat in new era of blockbuster horror

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If advanced ticket sales are any indicator, “Halloween” is about to carve out one spectacular opening weekend.

The film set 40 years after the original “Halloween,” surpassed “The Nun” as Fandango’s biggest horror preseller of the year and is eyeing a first weekend box office haul of up to $100 million.

“Halloween” is being released at a time when the horror genre, always a money maker, is raking in even bigger blockbuster grosses with the releases of films like “Get Out” and “A Quiet Place.” Usually a domain for small-budget films, Hollywood has developed a fresh taste for big budget horror films such as “It” and “The Conjuring 2.”

Domestically, most estimates have “Halloween” earning $65 million to $70 million, but that could be conservative. The slasher flick currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 81 percent and has the added benefit of being produced by Blumhouse, which has set a new standard for horror production in the 21st century, which is lifting the entire category.

In 2017, horror movies made more than $1 billion at the U.S. box office alone, that’s up considerably since 2014, when horror films raked in $255 million.

Blumhouse, which is known best for translating small budgets into huge box office receipts, has been responsible for the profitable and popular “Paranormal Activity” films as well as the Academy Award-winning “Get Out.”

“Blumhouse seems to really have their finger on the pulse of what horror fans want and finding a way to cross over to audiences who may have been put off by horror movies,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, said.

However, “big budget” means something different when it comes to horror. Warner Bros.’ “It” cost $35 million to make, quite a bit more than the $4.5 million of “Get Out,” according to Box Office Mojo. But when compared to other Hollywood films, the larger horror movie budgets look tiny. For example, “Justice League,” also from Warner, cost $300 million to make and made nearly $230 million in domestic grosses. “It,” for a fraction of the production costs, made $327 million domestically.

It’s the Blumhouse model on a bigger scale. “Paranormal Activity,” which was released in 2009, had a budget of just $15,000 and went on to make more than $107 million in the U.S. and nearly $200 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

Because of this, horror films are one of the most consistently performing genre of all time, Dergarabedian said.

2018-10-19 19:44:00

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