‘Dune’ Holds Onto Top Spot In Sophomore Weekend As 007 Opens In China; ‘Soho’, ‘Antlers’ Fail To Scare Up Halloween Business In Debuts
Warner Bros.’ sci-fi tentpole Dune continued to spice up an otherwise bland Halloween weekend at the box office, pulling in $15.5 million in its sophomore frame and remaining the top movie in North America. Meanwhile, a pair of scary-movie debuts—Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho and the Guillermo del Toro-produced Antlers—failed to click with audiences despite a roll-out timed to coincide with the spookiest holiday of the year, landing disappointingly outside of the top five. In overseas news, the latest James Bond installment, No Time to Die, finally opened in China, albeit to softer-than-expected numbers due to a wave of COVID-related theater closures in the country.

Dune’s hold on first place wasn’t much of a surprise considering that the weekend’s only new competition came from specialty-market indies, but its smaller-than-predicted -62.1% drop-off from the previous frame and the studio’s decision this week to greenlight a sequel (expected in October 2023) are both positive signs. With a starry cast that includes Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem, the futuristic adventure has been trying to lure audiences into multiplexes by marketing it as the sort of spectacle that needs to be seen on the big screen (rather than on HBO Max, where it is also playing). So far, that push has been mostly successful, with IMAX screens accounting for $17 million of the film’s domestic haul to date.

In its sophomore frame, director Denis Villeneuve’s PG-13-rated epic pulled in $15.5 million in 4,125 theaters, which translated to a $3,764 per-screen average. After two weeks, Dune’s domestic box office total stands at $69.4 million. However, the film’s biggest take has been from overseas, where it has grossed $227 million, bringing its current worldwide total to $296.4 million. That said, Dune’s box-office reign should come to an end after this week since the latest Marvel blockbuster, Eternals, opens on Friday as is expected to come out of the gate to domestic sales in the $70-million range despite mediocre reviews.

Landing in the runner-up spot was Halloween Kills with $8.5 million. The latest chapter in the Michael Myers slasher saga dropped off -41.2 from the prior frame. Universal’s R-rated chiller scared up a $2,350 per-screen average at 3,616 locations. After three weeks, Halloween Kills has pulled in $85.6 million in North America and just $29.5 million from overseas, bringing its three-week global cume to $115.1 million—not bad considering that the film is also available on the Peacock streaming platform.

In third place was MGM’s 007 sequel, No Time to Die, which tacked on $7.8 million in its fourth weekend. The latest 007 adventure (starring Daniel Craig in his last turn in the tux), slipped -35.9% from the previous session, scoring a $2,229 per-screen average in 3,507 venues. The PG-13-rated film has now earned $133.3 million at the domestic box office and $472.4 million from abroad. Its combined worldwide box office is now a hair under $605.8 million, places the movie in the elite company of F9: The Fast Saga as the only two Hollywood films to surpass the $600 million global milestone this year. The bigger headline for Bond, though, came from the film’s lackluster debut in China—recently one of 007’s most lucrative markets. Due to a spike in COVID cases, 13% of the country’s theaters were closed, giving the film a softer-than-expected bow with $27.8 million.

In fourth place was, hands down, the weekend’s biggest shocker as FUNimation Entertainment’s anime sequel, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, debuted to $6.4 million. The third chapter in the popular international My Hero Academia franchise about a world-saving team of Japanese crime-fighters unspooled in 1,581 North American theaters over the weekend, scoring a $4,050 per-screen average, and edging out a pair of more high-profile debuts that failed to break the top five (more on those in a minute). To date, the PG-13-rated box-office dark horse has raked in $29.4 million from overseas, putting its cumulative worldwide gross at $35.8 million.

Rounding out the top five was Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The PG-13-rated supervillain sequel starring Tom Hardy, dipped -38.2% from the previous weekend, pulling in just under $5.8 million in North America. Playing in 3,270 theaters, Venom 2 scored a $1,754 per-screen average in its fifth session, putting its five-week domestic tally at $190.4 million. The film has added another $205.4 million in foreign ticket sales, bringing its global box-office total to $395.8 million.

Bubbling just underneath the top five were the weekend’s two sad-trombone scary-movie debuts, Last Night in Soho and Antlers, which tied for sixth place as both films wound up with the same $4.16 million haul. The R-rated Soho from Focus Features stars Thomasin McKenzie as a London-based fashion designer who travels back in time to the Swinging ‘60s to inhabit the body of a nightclub singer played by The Queen’s Gambit’s Anya Taylor-Joy. Bowing in 3,016 theaters, the stylish film had a $1,379 per-screen average. So far, it has pulled in $2.3 million from overseas, bringing its global box-office cume to $6.5 million. With a B+ CinemaScore grade and a 74% fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, Soho can only been viewed as a disappointment compared to director Edgar Wright’s last feature, Baby Driver, which bowed to a little over $20.5 million in North America back in 2017 on its way to earning $107.8 million in its domestic run. As for Searchlight’s Antlers, the R-rated tale about a folk monster stalking rural Oregon starring Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons, bowed in 2,800 theaters with a $1,485 per-screen average. Antlers has made $2.5 million overseas, putting its worldwide gross at $6.7 million. The film earned a 60% fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a tepid ‘C+’ CinemaScore grade.