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Is Rob Zombie’s Fourth Flick, ‘Halloween II,’ a Box Office Dud?

Last Friday, Rob Zombie‘s second stab at refurbishing the ‘Halloween’ film franchise hit theaters across the U.S., and — after one of the summer’s last big movie-going weekends — the former White Zombie frontman’s fourth entrée as a screenwriter and director, ‘Halloween II,’ pulled in an estimated box office take of just over $17 million. The film finished third in the ticket sales race, behind Quentin Tarantino’s Jews-hunting-Nazis masterpiece ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and the latest in the ‘Final Destination’ series. So, did ‘Halloween II’ bomb?

After the box office numbers were revealed, a whole host of sites analyzed the figures, and in a roundabout way, seemed to suggest that Zombie’s latest take on psychotic killer Michael Myers was a dud. Especially when they compared ticket sales from the sequel to its predecessor, 2007′s ‘Halloween,’ which opened in first and grossed over $30 million. However, Bob Weinstein — an executive of the movie’s production company — noted for the media that the sequel earned more than its $15 million production budget.

Next summer, ‘Halloween 3-D’ will open, but Zombie will not be back to direct; a decision made well before ‘Halloween 2′ hit the big screen. The third, however, will pick up where Zombie left off, story-wise.

“It’s like hitting a single or a double,” says Weinstein. “There are going to be bigger ones like ‘Inglourious Basterds,’ but for the Weinstein Company, we don’t mind having two or three of these a year.”

According to analysts, ‘Halloween II’ and ‘The Final Destination’ were fighting for the same audience, and that its odd that two horror flicks would open the same weekend. Analysts were actually impressed that the films did such solid business. ‘The Final Destination’ earned $28 million in box office receipts and had one advantage over Zombie’s entry, in that it’s a 3D film. The report also notes that August, historically, has been a quiet month for Hollywood.

Said one analyst, “August gave us the record. Virtually every summer crosses the finish line with a whimper. This year, we crossed with a bang.”

Meanwhile, Zombie plans to return to the road this fall, after releasing his as-yet-untitled next studio album.

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