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Fright flick Halloween leads box office

Halloween stars Jamie Lee Curtis as the sole survivor of a killing spree perpetrated by a homicidal masked figure.

Los Angeles

MOVIE-goers really like to be scared, and Universal gleefully accommodated them last weekend. Its new release Halloween registered an impressive US$77.5 million in estimated ticket sales, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday.

That strong three-day number gave the film the second-best opening ever for an October, trailing only Venom, which earlier this month booked an US$80-million opening, said

Universal executives could be excused for a bit of gloating - they produced Halloween for a microscopic US$10 million.

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It recounts the return of a homicidal masked figure (Nick Castle) 40 years after he set off on a bloody Halloween night killing spree. Jamie Lee Curtis again stars as Laurie Strode, sole survivor of that spree.

Holding tight in second spot was Warner Bros' musical drama, A Star Is Born, with ticket sales of US$19.3 million.

The film, the third remake of a 1937 movie, was directed by Bradley Cooper. He plays a hard-drinking musician who falls in love with a young singer (Lady Gaga), only to see her star rise as his plunges.

Sony's Venom was not far behind, taking in US$18.1 million as it approaches US$500 million globally.

Tom Hardy stars as a journalist who becomes the superpowerful host for an alien creature.

In fourth place was another seasonal offering, Sony's Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, at US$9.7 million. The family-friendly sequel, based on the R L Stine children's books, stars Wendi McLendon-Covey and Madison Iseman.

Fifth spot went to Universal's astronaut drama, First Man, at US$8.6 million. The film, directed by Oscar winner Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling, recounts Neil Armstrong's historic journey to the moon in 1969.

Rounding out this weekend's top 10 were: The Hate U Give (US$7.5 million), Smallfoot (US$6.6 million), Night School (US$5 million), Bad Times at the El Royale (US$3.3 million), and The Old Man & The Gun (US$2.1 million). AFP