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‘Halloween’ Keeps Moviegoers’ Hearts Racing for 2nd Weekend

Those screams coming from theaters this weekend are music to the ears of the filmmakers behind “Halloween.”

The movie, which reunites Jamie Lee Curtis with John Carpenter in a sequel to the landmark 1978 slasher film, led the North American box office for a second weekend, taking in $32 million in ticket sales, ComScore Inc. estimated in an email Sunday. That was enough to vanquish the only new picture in wide release, “Hunter Killer.” The action feature from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. placed fifth with $6.65 million.

The strong run by the Blumhouse Productions horror sequel is helping October keep ahead of the record $758 million set for the month in 2014. Sales for the period were running more than 50 percent ahead of 2017 and up over 20 percent versus 2014 through Oct. 23, according to Box Office Mojo. The weekend around Halloween is usually slow.

Fans flocked to the followup of the original “Halloween,” which picks up 40 years after Curtis, as Laurie Strode, narrowly escaped the murderous rampage of the masked Michael Myers. Analysts at Box Office Pro were forecasting $33 million for the film’s second weekend in domestic theaters.

Made for just $10 million, excluding marketing costs, the film had taken in $107 million worldwide heading into the weekend. Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures is the distributor.

In “Hunter Killer,” Gerard Butler stars as an American submarine captain deep under the Arctic Ocean seeking a U.S. sub in distress.

He discovers a secret Russian coup and leads a group of Navy SEALs trying to rescue the kidnapped Russian president and head off a third world war. The studio had expected an opening weekend in the high single digits, while Box Office Pro was forecasting $8.8 million. Common and Gary Oldman also feature.

Just 37 percent of critics were recommending the movie, according to