As Warner Bros.' “Dune” returned to No. 1 at the box office for the second week in a row, October became the best-performing month for theatrical movies since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
Comscore says October pulled in $638 million in U.S. box-office revenue. The previous best-performing month was July of this year -- $582.3 million, according to IMdb’s BoxOfficeMojo.
“Dune” posted a second weekend total of $15.5 million -- now totaling $69.4 million in revenue.
Other top earners were returning major hits of the month: Universal Pictures' “Halloween Kills” and MGM’s “No Time to Die” -- went second and third in October with $8.5 million and $7.8 million, respectively.
Japanese animated superhero film “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” from FUNimation Entertainment was the best of the movies debuting this past weekend -- at $6.4 million, in just 1,600 theaters.
Searchlight Picture’s “Antlers” was next at $4.2 million, while Focus Features’ “Last Night in Soho” came in at $4.16 million.
Starting in July, movie studios and theaters have seen growing business as pandemic concerns and restrictions have relaxed.
Year-to-date, U.S. box-office revenue has amassed $3.03 billion up 53% versus season-to-date versus a year ago.
However, this is down 67% to $9.2 billion in 2019 --the pre-pandemic year. Some 360 films have been released in the 10 months of 2021. The full 2019 year had 911 releases.
TV marketing dollars continue to build.
For October, movie studios spent $90.4 million on national TV advertising on 25,831 airings of commercials, resulting in 8.6 billion impressions.
In September, the number was $75.3 million, on 18,974 airings and 6.9 billion impressions. July came in at $86 million (36,181 airings, 10.4 billion); with August at $53.5 million (26,735 airings, 8.4 billion impressions).