‘Halloween Kills’ Gets Plot-Heavy Final Trailer
The first Halloween Kills trailer, which debuted in late June in advance of F9, seemed to give away most of the film’s “Michael Myers does a murder” sequences. This new teaser, released to play with Dear Evan Hansen, seems to lay out the broad strokes of the film’s overall plot. From what we see, Michael survives the fiery trap set by the Strode women at the end of Halloween (2018), Michael kills a bunch of folks and the townspeople pick up metaphorical pitch forks and torches to “kill the beast” once and for all.
Oh, and the authorities realize that Michael is heading for his childhood home, which frankly is the first place I would have placed a bunch of cops in the event of a Myers escape. I am reminded of the Prom Night remake from 2008, which co-starred Idris Elba as the world’s dumbest cop who didn’t think to stake out the intended victim’s prom night hotel room. Spoiler: He really should have staked out the intended victim’s hotel room.
Whether the trailer implies the film-ending “twist” I’ve predicted from the start (no spoilers, but this is the second of three movies and thus I’m expecting a downer finale), I cannot say and would not say even if I knew. Fans who watch this trailer multiple times on their laptop and know how marketing works may be able to realize how much is seemingly given away. However, the general audience, the people who saw the Halloween Kills trailer once or twice in theaters and will now see this one once or twice between now and October 15, won’t know or won’t remember.
More importantly, if the movie works on its own terms, they won’t care. The only reason we’re getting a new theatrical trailer just 3.5 weeks out is so that Universal can announce the film’s concurrent theatrical and Peacock debut. This is partially about A) boosting Peacock as a seasonal streaming destination and B) accounting for what would have been even in non-Covid times a big drop from Halloween ($159 million domestic and $256 million worldwide in 2018). Even a 55% drop (as we saw between Halloween H20 and Halloween: Resurrection) would give this over/under $15 million sequel $72 million domestic and $115 million worldwide.
That would be on par with the original Happy Death Day ($56 million/$125 million) in October of 2017. But perhaps Universal is looking at Candyman (a likely over/under $55 million domestic cume) and Old ($90 million worldwide) as the current ceiling. While most of this year’s horror movies have done well in terms of budget, the only real breakouts were The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ($64 million domestic and $201 million worldwide on a $39 million budget) and A Quiet Place part II ($160 million/$298 million/$61 million).
The rest have done “good enough” (like The Forever Purge earned $76 million on a $25 million budget) while earning well below their respective predecessors. For example, Don’t Breathe 2 earned $47 million on a $10 million budget, while Don’t Breathe grossed $157 million on a $9 million budget in 2016. While it’ll still make money, Nia DaCosta’s $25 million Candyman has “only” earned $52 million domestic and $65 million worldwide. I’d argue that one would have performed better had it opened in a non-Covid world in June 2020. However, I’m guessing DaCosta’s next film, Marvel’s The Marvels (that’s a mouthful) will do just fine in November 2022. So too will, relatively speaking, Halloween Ends in October 2022.
Synopsis: Minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor. But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all. Evil dies tonight.