Halloween may have slain the box office, but another film has been given top marks by audiences. Opening night audiences gave The Hate U Give the best possible Cinemascore, an A+, while Halloween was only able to come up with a B+.
Cinemascores tend to skew high as they’re decided on by surveying opening night audiences. They’re interested enough in a particular movie already to go see it opening night, which means they had an expectation they would like it. It certainly doesn’t always work out that way, as F Cinemascores happen, though they are exceedingly rare.
Still, an A+ Cinemascore is also pretty rare. No other reason film has reached such heights. It shows a near complete adoration for a film by nearly every person who saw it. Audiences are pretty in step with critics as well as the movie has received glowing reviews and currently has a 96% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
That love hasn’t quite translated into box office success. The Hate U Give jumped into sixth place at the box office in its first week of wide release but only made about $7 million. It has made a little over $10 million overall.
This is in sharp contrast to the $77 million that Halloween made over this past weekend. Many are calling it the second best Halloween movie in the franchise which, while some of the films are not looked at positively, still means it’s better than like 10 other movies because there have been a lot of films in that franchise.
Halloween didn’t do too badly in the Cinemascore arena either. A B+ is a perfectly solid result, it would look pretty stellar if it wasn’t sitting next to that amazing A+.
The Hate U Give follows the experience of an African-American teenage girl, played to perfection by Amandla Stenberg, that’s caught between her mostly black neighborhood and her mostly white prep school when a friend of hers is killed in a police officer-involved shooting. It’s an emotional journey that may very well become a major contender come awards season, but it’s not necessarily the dry, overly dramatic piece of cinema that you might expect from the end of the year Oscar bait. It’s based on a YA novel and the film is designed to appeal to a much wider audience.
It will be interesting to see if how well this positive buzz impacts the box office for The Hate U Give overall. While the movie certainly isn’t going to be putting up Halloween numbers, it could still turn out to be a box office hit, which is something else the movie won’t have in common with many of the other awards contenders. While it had a pretty modest budget, it needs to do about three times that in order to start bringing in a profit.