This file photo from September 8, 2021 shows actress Jamie Lee Curtis at an out-of-competition screening of ‘Halloween Kills’ at the Venice Film Festival in Italy
LOS ANGELES: 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.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ($3.5 million)
“Free Guy” ($680,000)
“Dear Evan Hansen” ($410,000)Internet Explorer Channel Network