Box office hits $790 million to mark the best October ever

It’s the best October ever for movies.

Fueled by slasher flick “Halloween,” blockbuster pic “Venom” and darling-of-critics “A Star is Born,” the October domestic box office hit an estimated $789.9 million on Sunday, the highest October box office total ever, according to comScore.

The former record was held by October 2014, when the box office brought in $757.1 million,

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Universal’s “Halloween,” a sequel to the 1978 hit film of the same name starring Jamie Lee Curtis, topped the North American box office for the second weekend. It brought in $32 million for a domestic tally of $126.7 million. Universal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corp. CMCSA, -1.67% 

AT&T Inc.-owned T, -2.97% Warner Bros.’ “A Star is Born” is in its fourth weekend of release and came in second, earning $14.1 million domestically. The movie stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who also directed the film. Cooper’s remake of the 1937 film has been widely praised by critics and moviegoers, and currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 90%.

Sony’s “Venom,” also in its fourth weekend, added $10.8 million, bringing its total domestic take to 187.3 million. “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” also distributed by SonySNE, -2.00% brought in $7.5 million in its third weekend for a total of $38.3 million.

Rounding out the top five is Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s LGF.A, -4.94%LGF.B, -4.51% submarine action flick “Hunter Killer,” starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman, which debuted this weekend in North American with $6.65 million.

See also: ‘First Man’ can’t beat ‘Venom,’ ‘A Star Is Born’ in box-office debut

October is usually a slower time for movies, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. Blockbusters are usually released in the summer and during holiday months, and studios generally shy away from releasing high-profile films during Halloween weekend, when audiences tend to be preoccupied with Halloween-related activities.

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But this month has broken that pattern. “These are summer-style box office numbers,” said Dergarabedian. “We could hit 800 million for the first time ever at the October box office,” he said.

What’s more, Dergarabedian thinks that the box office is doing well enough to perhaps hit a new year-end record. “We are on record pace, and I think we have a shot at hitting $12 billion for the first time ever in North America,” he said.

The last year-end record was in 2016, when the domestic box office brought in $11.4 billion, he said.

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