There were no major expectations for “Halloween” from 1978, the original film in the franchise. An indie horror feature film from an unknown filmmaker with no big names in its cast, no one would have been shocked if it had come, gone and gone without having much of an impact. But “Halloween” has gone beyond its humble origins to become one of the most successful horror films in cinema history. The quality exhibited by director John Carpenter was so immediately evident to moviegoers that it generated the kind of word-of-mouth that filmmakers spend their entire lives dreaming about.
Costing just $ 325,000 to make, “Halloween” ultimately grossed $ 70.2 million across multiple theatrical releases. As Time Magazine pointed out, at the time, that made “Halloween” the most lucrative independent feature film in history and a total game changer for what was possible outside of mainstream Hollywood. Additionally, as IndieWire observed in 2018, the film was one of the highest grossing films of 1978 and remains one of the most successful R-rated horror films ever made. “Halloween” wasn’t just lucrative by cheap horror movie standards, it was a box office phenomenon. Many films have attempted to replicate the success of “Halloween”, but few have proven to be so unpredictably lucrative.