Halloween Scares Up Record
There was more treat than trick about the decision to screen Rob Zombie's remake (the studio called it a "re-imagining") of Halloween over the Labor Day holiday. By Sunday, the film had already grossed more than any other film ever released over the holiday -- $26.5 million. The previous record was set two years ago when Transporter 2 opened with $16.5 million. (Labor Day is typically the slowest holiday period of the year at the box office, as young moviegoers are preparing to head back to school.) The film also gave a boost to the horror genre, which had come upon hard times this year. As MGM distribution chief Clark Woods observed in an interview with the Los Angeles Times: "Only a couple weeks ago, people were talking about the death of the horror movie. ... The genre sure wasn't dead this weekend." Coming in second was Sony's Superbad, which had reigned as the top box-office attraction during the previous two weeks. It grossed $12.2 million, slightly more than the No. 3 film, Universal's Balls of Fury, which debuted with $11.5 million. The rest of the box office looked as frightful as No. 1, with most other films drawing a piddling amount and pulling the average down below what it was a year ago. Nevertheless, the weekend will cap an extraordinary summer for the box office, which is expected to finish with a total haul of about $4.15 billion (first weekend of May through Labor Day).
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates:
1. Halloween, $26.5 million; 2. Superbad, $12.2 million; 3. Balls of Fury, $11.5 million; 4. The Bourne Ultimatum 10.1 million; 5. Mr. Bean's Holiday, $5.9 million; 6. Rush Hour 3, $5.3 million; 7. The Nanny Diaries, $5.1 million; 8. Death Sentence, $4.1 million; 9. Stardust, $3 million; 10. War, $2.3 million.