Entertainment Celebrity Why Jamie Lee Curtis is still ‘Queen of Scream’ as 12th instalment of Halloween kills at the box office

Why Jamie Lee Curtis is still ‘Queen of Scream’ as 12th instalment of Halloween kills at the box office

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When screen icon Jamie Lee Curtis made her acting debut in Hollywood’s first Halloween movie back in 1978, she remembers being “so happy” to have the opportunity to work on a film, hang out with cast and crew, and simply enjoy the moment.

Curtis says her casting was “low pressure”.

“We had nothing to lose. We didn’t know that we had anything to gain. We were just so happy to have this gig. The original Halloween was made in 17 days with, like 12 people,” she told Variety.

“Everybody was young. There was magic happening.”

In fact, Curtis was paid just $9000 and the overall budget for the film was $365,000.

Fast forward 43 years, and having starred in six of the 12 instalments of the Halloween franchise, horror movie making is now big business for her.

Speaking on Ten’s The Project on October 25, Curtis, now 62, said her happiest movie memory of all time was shooting that first Halloween.

“Shooting Halloween, eating lunch with the crew, laying on the grass on a grip blanket. I remember there was one day when a couple of us fell asleep out there, and then … we woke up and just looked at each other.

“There was something so pure and lovely. There were no expectations. It was just purely the love of getting to do this opportunity. Young people, made for nothing, made in two-and-a-half weeks.

“It was just spectacular in that way,” she told The Project during a busy week of Halloween Kills talkfests.

Jamie Lee Curtis on the set of Halloween in 1978. Photo: Getty

‘Good verses evil is always a compelling story’

Released in time for Halloween celebrations around the world, Halloween Kills is the 12th instalment in the franchise, with the third in this latest trilogy – Halloween Ends – to be released in late 2022.

Curtis (Trading Places, Scream Queens, A Fish Called Wanda), will reprise the lead role of Laurie Strode alongside James Jude Courtney,
who plays the evil-guy-who-never-seems-to-die Michael Myers.

The daughter of actor Tony Curtis and Psycho actor Janet Leigh, Curtis says she’s a “very grateful Scream queen”, even though her catalogue of work is as broad as it is everlasting – from writing children’s books, to blogging, to starring in comedy and Christmas flicks.

It’s an incredible track record in the entertainment industry.

After quickly becoming known as a “horror starlet”, Curtis went on to star in the Halloween franchise six times, playing Strode again in the sequels Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Halloween (2018), and now Halloween Kills (2021).

“Good verses evil is always a compelling story, especially when those lines get blurred,” she wrote on Instagram this week.

It takes a whole village to defeat evil. Photo: AAP

Coming back to play the same role, she told The Project that Halloween Kills was “not a new skin for me”.

“It was a continuation, Laurie is a wounded warrior, so in her wounding her daughter and granddaughter need to step up now.

“That is the beauty of this new story,” she said.

No spoiler alert, but she shared on Instagram: “Where to go with a sequel? The only direction is to level it all UP!”

“The people of Haddonfield have had enough. Evil dies tonight!
This is the week before Halloween where everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”

Why won’t you die Michael Myers? Photo: AAP

Halloween Kills at the box office

Just when box-office takings needed a boost and people were ready to go back into cinemas and be genuinely frightened, Halloween Kills delivers big time.

According to Indiewire, the horror flick raked in an estimated $73 million at the box office since it premiered, despite also delivering on streaming platform Peacock.

Even Curtis couldn’t help mentioning it out loud, apologising to another blockbuster The Last Duel, starring Matt Damon and Adam Driver, which was “dead’, bombing in the water in early sessions.

“I’m thrilled for my Halloween movie family and the hundreds of people who contribute to the work.

“I also feel for the hundreds of team members of The Last Duel as they also worked for months aiming for a strong result, the elusive moment in the cinema success sun.

“Trust me. I’ve been there! It isn’t fun. Be gentle all.”

“It’s a strange time for theatre,” Indiewire wrote.

“With a $US50 million opening weekend for Halloween Kills, that means the Universal title won’t have Premium Video on Demand play for 31 days … but how meaningful is that when the Blumhouse/Miramax sequel is already available free to Peacock subscribers?

“Even with home access, it still grossed only $US5 million less than No Time to Die last weekend … ‘Kills’ by far has the largest opening total for any film to premiere on a streamer with no PVOD [premium video on demand] charge [for example] Black Widow cost $US29.99.”

Interesting, production cost for Halloween Kills, at $US20 million, was less than one-10th of Daniel Craig’s James Bond finale ($US250 million).

“Since it lacked premium-screen surcharge admissions, ‘Kills’ probably sold as many tickets as Bond did last weekend. The Peacock access also means lower film rental costs for theatres, and a higher return.”

What’s next for the Halloween franchise?

In a recent interview with NBC, Curtis teased: “The truth is, the end of Halloween Ends is going to make people crazy,” Curtis said.

“It’s going to shock people and it’s going to make people crazy.”

Halloween Kills will premiere in Australian cinemas from October 28