While some think HALLOWEEN 5 was just a quick cash grab after the success of HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS, the film was actually announced by producer Moustapha Akkad in April 1988 when the fourth entry began filming. Of course, the fifth entry going into production was predicated on the success of the fourth film, which hit theaters on October 21, 1988. With HALLOWEEN stalwarts John Carpenter and Debra Hill out of the equation, Akkad struck gold regardless as audiences were still craving Michael Myers slashing seven years after his last onscreen appearance. HALLOWEEN 4 opened in first place and, thanks to smart timing (a HALLOWEEN film around Halloween, imagine that, Weinsteins!), maintained that spot for two weekends in a row. Amusingly, it was unseated in its third week by THEY LIVE (1988), a film by Myers daddy John Carpenter. Eventually, HALLOWEEN 4 brought in just under $18 million dollars in the U.S. box office. Not ELM STREET numbers, but enough to prove The Shape still had some swing in his slash.
Not surprisingly, when the film opened in October 1989, fans weren’t pleased. For some odd reason, it had been a tough year for every horror icon as both Freddy and Jason saw their annual entries sink at the box office. Gee, could it have anything to do with them being rushed productions? Anyway, poor Michael saw the worst of it. The film debuted in second place at the box office, behind fellow newcomer LOOK WHO’S TALKING (1989). Yes, audiences preferred to see a film about talking babies starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. The film made just over $5 million dollars that weekend and was gone from theaters with a haul of $11 million in a few weeks. The most ironic thing? By the time the weekend preceding Halloween (October 27-29) arrived, no one was going to see a film called HALLOWEEN. To date it remains the lowest grossing film of the series. It was so bad that it put the entire series on ice for six years before Akkad got it into the hands of the Weinstein brothers via their Dimension arm. They brought us the equally inane HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995), a film legendary for its behind-the-scenes turmoil. As true signs of their genius, they released it in September 1995.