'Halloween' Severs Labor Day Record
Halloween was celebrated over the four-day Labor Day weekend to the tune of $30.6 million on approximately 4,100 screens at 3,472 theaters. MGM and The Weinstein Company's remake of the seminal 1978 slasher claimed the highest-grossing Labor Day weekend opening ever, topping Transporter 2's $20.1 million. Additionally, it posted the biggest pure horror or thriller opening of the year, ahead of Disturbia and 1408.

Among the recent spate of remakes of famous horror movies, Halloween's $26.4 million three-day start rates slightly higher than The Amityville Horror but lower than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. The original Halloween grossed the equivalent of nearly $140 million adjusted for ticket price inflation and, while that success has never been recreated, the franchise has endured for nearly three decades. The Weinsteins previously revived killer Michael Myers in August 1998 with Halloween: H20, which sold around as many tickets out of the gate as the 2007 incarnation and its $55 million final gross would equal about $80 million today, a tally that the new movie won't likely reach.

Also debuting, Balls of Fury packed a $14.1 million four-day at 3,052 sites. The ping pong comedy had greater bounce than such similarly goofy movies as Beerfest and Kung Pow! Enter the Fist but delivered about a third the initial audience of DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and Blades of Glory. Meanwhile, revenge thriller Death Sentence meted out a measly $5.3 million four-day at 1,822 locations.

As usual for the Labor Day weekend, pictures out for two weeks or more generally had small declines. Comparing the Friday to Sunday weekend to last, two wide releases saw no drop (Ratatouille and Transformers), while late summer stalwarts Hairspray and The Bourne Ultimatum were each off less than 17 percent.

Superbad fell a bit more sharply than other hit holdovers. The raunchy comedy was down 31 percent for the three-day weekend, which was steeper than the past similar movie American Pie 2 on the same frame. Superbad has grossed a potent $92.7 million in 18 days.

Among milestones, Ratatouille scurried past the $200 million mark on Saturday, its 65th day of release, while The Bourne Ultimatum followed suit on Monday, its 32nd day of release, and also became the most attended movie of the Bourne series.

RELATED ARTICLES• 9/5/06 - 'Illusionist' Impresses on Labor Day Weekend (Same Weekend, 2006)

• 9/6/05 - 'Transporter 2' Drives to Labor Day Record (Same Weekend, 2005)

• 4/18/05 - 'Amityville Horror' Takes Toll on Tax Weekend


Weekend Box Office Results

• All Time Labor Day Weekend Openings

• 'Halloween' Franchise

• Horror Remakes

NOTE: This report was originally written on Sunday, Sept. 2 and was revised on Tuesday, Sept. 4 with actual grosses.