Box Office: ‘Halloween’ Strikes at $7.7 Million in Thursday Night Previews

Jamie Lee Curtis’ “Halloween” has opened strongly with $7.7 million at 3,200 North American locations in Thursday night preview showings.

Universal’s R-rated slasher film recorded one of the biggest preview nights for a horror movie. Warner Bros.’ “It” set the record 13 months ago with $13.5 million from 3,500 theaters on Sept 7, 2017.

Anticipation is high among moviegoers for “Halloween,” with Curtis returning as Laurie Strode facing off against serial killer Michael Myers. Universal is forecasting a $50 million bow at 3,928 sites, while some analysts have projected a $70 million launch. “Halloween” is also releasing in 21 international territories this weekend.

“Halloween” will smash the franchise record opening of $26 million set by the 2007 Rob Zombie reboot. “Halloween” will also post one of the best starts for an R-rated horror film, a list headed by “It” ($123 million), “Hannibal” ($58 million), and “The Nun” ($53 million). Given its $10 million production budget, the sequel is on track to be hugely profitable.

The new “Halloween” is the 11th installment in the franchise, five of which included Curtis, and a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s original 1978 movie. Nick Castle returns to portray the deranged Myers, who has escaped custody and heads for Haddonfield, Il., for a final showdown with Strode on Halloween night.

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