And along with the tricks and treats, much of that spend will go toward movie character-branded costumes, for kids and adults alike, from Disney princesses to Pirates of the Caribbean scalliwags.
According to online Halloween resource sites such as Extreme Halloween, 2006's most popular costume is Disney/Buena Vista's Captain Jack Sparrow; competing movie studios need not worry, though.
Other hot selections include Sony's Spiderman, Warner Bros.' Superman, Hanna Barbara's Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Fox Searchlight's Napoleon Dynamite, New Line's Freddie Krueger, and George Clooney.
Pets, too, are part of Halloween's branded-marketing machine: One of this year's hottest get-ups for pups is Lucasfilm's Yoda Dog. Who can resist filling this one's goodie bag with bones? Happily for partiers and marketers both, it doesn't seems to affect anyone badly if a branded-costume reveler is found passed out on the sidewalk after a too-spirited evening -- it's all part of the Halloween fun. Still, this lack of costume creativity does give some folks the creeps.
So while this truly organic trend toward branded costumes is a great financial and promotional turn for the film industry, some of us will always appreciate a painstakingly crafted vampire, or a good ol' fashioned galley wench. Whatever your costume of choice, have a good time wearing it. And please, go easy on the Silly String.