Image Credit:

Forty years after he first appeared in theatres, Michael Myers is still drawing huge audiences for a good scare.

Universal Pictures said on Sunday that Halloween took in an estimated $77.5 million (Dh284.6 million) in ticket sales from North American theatres.

It captured first place at the box office with the second-highest horror opening of all time, behind last year’s It.

It also marked the second highest October opening ever behind Venom’s $80.3 million launch earlier this month.

The studio also says it’s the biggest movie opening ever with a female lead over 55, in star Jamie Lee Curtis.

David Gordon Green directed Halloween, which brings back Curtis as Laurie Strode and Nick Castle as Michael Myers and essentially ignores the events of the other sequels and spinoffs aside from John Carpenter’s original.

Reviews have been largely positive for the new instalment, with an 80 per cent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ Cinema Score from audiences that were mostly older (59 per cent over 25) and male (53 per cent). Internationally, Halloween earned $14.3 million from 23 markets.

Blumhouse, the shop behind Get Out and numerous other modestly budgeted horror films, co-produced Halloween with Miramax. It cost only $10 million to make.

“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.

With 10 days to go until the holiday, including another weekend, the studio expects Halloween to enjoy a much longer life than typical horror films that usually drop off significantly after the first weekend.

Halloween was enough to bump the comic-book film Venom out of the No 1 spot and into third place. In its third weekend in theaters, it collected $18.1 million, bringing its domestic total to $171.1 million.

Halloween releases in the UAE on October 25.