Box office: Halloween slices its way to the top spot with $77.5 million, First Man crashes to Earth

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Oct 21, 2018, 10:44 AM EDT

This weekend's box office is blessed with the triumphant return of a horror icon, Michael Myers. The new Halloween sequel (co-written and directed by David Gordon Green) sliced off $77.5 million with its freshly sharpened carving knife, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role of Laurie Strode for the fifth time in the franchise, emotionally scarred from her encounter with "The Shape" 40 years ago. What's different this time around is that the film (which also has Danny McBride as a writer) ignores every single sequel since the 1978 original from John Carpenter, who helped produce and score this movie.

Should Halloween take in the estimated $80 million, it will end up tying with Venom's opening weekend numbers from two weeks. Speaking of the Marvel movie from director Ruben Fleischer (30 Minutes or Less), Tom Hardy's turn as Symbiote host Eddie Brock is set to come in third place this week with $18 million domestically—right behind Bradley Cooper's directorial debut, his remake of A Star Is Born.

In fourth place, you can expect Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, the Ari Sandel-directed sequel, expected to make $9.7 million. Rocketing behind the follow-up is Damien Chazelle's intimate Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, with $8.8 million.

Despite rave reviews from critics and general audiences (as well as early awards season buzz), First Man—which chronicles the lead-up to and execution of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969—is underperforming in terms of box-office returns. This was addressed by Universal's head of distribution, Jim Orr, who told Variety:

“As we’ve seen in this release corridor, quality films like First Man — Certified Fresh at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes — have strong playability and will have tremendous legs at the box office. This weekend’s results are just a starting point. Quality adult dramas released in this time period produce very healthy multiples. This is very much a marathon, not a sprint.”