“Halloween Kills” may be available to watch at home, but the latest installment in the Michael Myers saga is making a killing at the North American box office in its first weekend in theatres. The David Gordon Green-directed horror scared up $50.4 million from 3,705 locations, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Universal’s “Halloween Kills” far surpassed expectations, which had the film pegged for a more conservative debut in the $30 million range. It also easily bested its main competition, which included the James Bond pic “No Time to Die”, in its second weekend, and Ridley Scott’s medieval epic “The Last Duel”. Both are playing exclusively in theatres.

The film picks up where Green’s 2018 “Halloween” left off, on the same bloody night, with Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode. Some were surprised when the studio made the decision to release “Halloween Kills” simultaneously in theatres and on NBC Universal’s Peacock for premium subscribers, but the day-and-date strategy does not seem to have hurt its box office haul.\

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“David Gordon Green crafted an incredibly terrifying continuation of this franchise that our core audience was more than eager to come out to the theatre to see,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s head of domestic distribution. “Audiences want to be out, they want to be in theatere, and they want to experience it communally.”

Before “Halloween Kills,” which had a reported $20 million production budget, the biggest day-and-date opening of the year was Warner Bros.′ “Godzilla vs. Kong”, which grossed $32.2 million in its first weekend while also being available on HBO Max. It’s a best for a pandemic-era horror opening, narrowly beating out “A Quiet Place Part II”.