'Halloween' Opening Weekend Box Office Projected in $65-Million Range

After the franchise being absent from theaters for nearly a decade, there's a lot riding on this year's Halloween, with the film serving as a last-ditch effort to breathe life into the stagnant series. According to recent reports, the film is looking to take in as much as $65 million in its opening weekend, setting a new record for the franchise.

Variety details that the film is slated to earn between $57 and $65 million in its opening weekend, with the studio keeping their expectations somewhat low and hoping for a $50-million take.

The new film is rated R, which will likely take out a chunk of its potential earnings, though a factor in its favor is that it doesn't face any major competition, with films like A Star Is Born and Venom having topped the box office recently, both of which are entering their third weekends in release.

Without being adjusted for inflation, the previous most-successful opening for the Halloween franchise was 2007's reboot from Rob Zombie, taking in $26 million in its opening weekend. This year's sequel will easily topple that record, yet it's still a long way off from beating other R-rated opening weekend records. Last year's IT set an astonishing record by opening to $123 million, followed by the Silence of the Lambs sequel Hannibal with $58 million. Last month, the latest chapter in The Conjuring franchise, The Nun, opened to $53 million.

This new Halloween is sure to crack the top five R-rated opening weekends, though how high it climbs is yet to be seen.

In the new film, “A British documentary crew comes to the States to visit Michael in prison for a retrospective of the maniac’s night of terror — but their project becomes way more interesting when Myers escapes custody, retrieves his signature mask and seeks revenge on Laurie, with others naturally being part of his impressive career body count along the way. In the decades following the fateful Halloween night that forever altered the former babysitter’s life, Laurie has armed and prepped herself for Michael’s inevitable return — to the detriment of her family, including daughter Karen and granddaughter Allyson.”

In addition to the potential financial success of the film, this year's sequel has earned the highest critical praise since the 1978 original, with review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes calculating 84 percent of reviews as positive. This makes it only the second film in the franchise to earn the site's "Fresh" ranking, other than the first film and its 93 percent positive reviews.

The new Halloween lands in theaters this Friday.

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[H/T Variety]