‘Halloween Kills’ does just that at N.America box office

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – It s that time of year: Films about death, dying and carnage topped the North American box office this weekend, led by Universal s “Halloween Kills” with a strong opening take of $50.4 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

The three-day estimate represented the biggest opening for a horror flick during the pandemic era, topping “A Quiet Place Part II,” which opened with $47.5 million.

And it came despite the film s simultaneous release on the Peacock streaming service — the best dual-release performance to date.

“Halloween Kills,” a follow-on to 2018 s “Halloween,” again stars Jamie Lee Curtis as protagonist Laurie Strode and Nick Castle as the monstrous Michael Myers.

In second place after a sharp drop from last week s top spot was United Artists  latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die.” It took in $24.3 million.

The movie, the last to feature Daniel Craig as 007, sees Ian Fleming s spy hero dragged out of retirement to take on old foes Blofeld and the criminal network SPECTRE.

Sony superhero film “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” snatched third place at $16.5 million. Tom Hardy plays investigative journalist Eddie Brock, whose symbiotic bond with an alien named Venom gives him superpowers, while Woody Harrelson portrays a serial killer who has broken out of prison after merging with another alien.

Fourth spot went to United Artists  “The Addams Family 2,” with a take of $7.2 million. The animated feature follows the creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky and altogether ooky family as they go on vacation.

And in fifth, Ridley Scott s “The Last Duel” opened with a pallid $4.8 million despite glowing reviews. It stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck in a tale set in 14th century France — the sort of historic yarn that usually attracts an older audience, a demographic still loath to return to Covid-era movie houses.