In 2017, the adaptation of Stephen King’s IT was a huge win for horror fans, as it opened the door to an influx of new R-rated horror movie greenlights from studio executives. IT became the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie of all time. In 2018, Halloween returned to theaters with original-creator John Carpenter involved with the franchise for the first time in decades. It didn’t quite dethrone IT, but nevertheless pulled in impressive box office numbers upon release and became the highest grossing horror film ever with a female lead.
Box office analysts say Halloween is likely to become the 2nd highest grossing R-rated horror film of all time.
According to Deadline, Halloween will coup a worldwide total of $128 million this weekend, which is an extremely rare level of success for the end of October, a historically dry season for movie theaters.
Halloween‘s success probably isn’t surprising, given the overwhelming praise it received earlier in the year after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Fans and critics alike were singing the movies praises across Twitter, calling it the best entry to the franchise since the original.
Loud applause for #HalloweenMovie – a clever redux that takes the slasher film in modern directions without losing any of its classic bite. A film by fans that works for general audiences as well, it's the best of both old and new #tiff18
— Jason Gorber (@filmfest_ca) September 9, 2018
Such glowing reviews generated buzz across the internet, which essentially cemented a successful box office run. The original Halloween was released in 1978 and 40 years later retains a respectable place on the list of highest grossing horror films of all time at No. 16, according to Business Insider.
These recent numbers essentially translate to a horror-filled movie roster in the coming years. Movie audiences can expect a lot more R-rated horror films to be greenlit in 2019 and throughout the remainder of this year.
2019 will see the release of IT: Chapter 2, which execs are hoping will beat the franchises own record. Time will tell if they achieve that goal. Also slated for 2019 is another Stephen King adaptation for his original book, Pet Sematary.
Halloween wasn’t the only horror party at the box office in 2018. A Quiet Place also broke records and is one of the highest grossing films of this year; no easy feat for a completely original work with no connection to any established franchise. Hereditary did smaller numbers than any of the aforementioned but still landed as A24 Films’ highest grossing movie in the film studio’s history, bringing in an approximate worldwide total of $80 million. Considering its exceptionally dark content, even when compared to box office hits like Saw, numbers like $80 million are unprecedented.
As the 2018 release of Halloween has reinvigorated the franchise, it’s likely that theater attendees will again see Michael Myers in action sooner rather than later. As for horror in general, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.