Halloween goes Hollywood

This year’s costume trends take Halloween from horrifying to Hollywood as experts are expecting fewer bloodcurdling monsters and more fashionable celebrities.

Experts on the Experian Hitwise, a website that collects trends in Web browsing, said movie-inspired costumes like Rapunzel and Catwoman would be this year’s top costumes. Captain America costumes for men are also predicted to be popular this Halloween.

Youngstown State University junior Alex Antonucci plans to be Hulk Hogan on a college student’s budget.

“I started growing my moustache three weeks ago,” Antonucci said. “I’m using my wig from my Garth from ‘Wayne’s World’ costume last year so I save money.”

The National Retail Federation estimated a more than $1 billion increase in Halloween spending in the U.S. Halloween expenditures are expected to reach around $6.9 billion, as compared to last year’s $5.8 billion.

Of that $6.9 billion, $2.5 billion is likely to go toward costumes.

Hitwise data displayed searches for “Mortal Kombat” costumes, hinting that men might be trying to make the fighting fantasy game a reality, at least for one night.

In addition to bringing video games to life, costume trends hint at a celebrity overload.

Renowned for bringing out witches and monsters, Halloween 2010 brought out a new kind of monster: Mother Monster. Along with the “Jersey Shore” cast, Lady Gaga ranked among the top costumes of 2010.

YSU freshman Tracy Fessler has no plans to dress up but expects to see a lot of celebrity-inspired looks with Gaga taking the costume crown.

This year, Nicki Minaj’s Barbies may overpower Gaga’s little monsters, with Minaj landing at spot 15 on Hitwise’s list of the top-20 costume searches.

The site’s data reveals that Gaga missed the top-20 trending costumes in 2011, but she will still have plenty of little monsters impersonating her.

On the other hand, Marie Claire magazine listed Gaga as one of the hottest costumes this year, only under a different name: Jo Calderone.

Calderone is Gaga’s alter ego whom she revealed at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.

Fellow music icon Beyonce didn’t make the magazine’s list, but pregnant Beyonce did.

Marie Claire anticipates that Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian might not make the best costume pair thanks to Kardashian’s recent marriage.

The magazine also hints that Kate Middleton and Prince William may beat them both, calling them the “‘It’ couple costume of the year.”

“A lot of people want to do matching couple costumes this year,” said Shirley James, an employee at Ward’s Costume Shoppe in Niles.

YSU senior Nicki Mitchell is one of them.

“My boyfriend and I are going together as trolls,” she said. “He didn’t want to be anything girly.”

While trolling with the apple of her eye, Mitchell said she expects to see numerous Steve Jobs costumes.

The International Business Times put Steve Jobs at the top of the list of the 10 hottest Halloween costumes for adults.

The International Business Times also lists big political names like Sarah Palin, Anthony Weiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Moving on from Weinergate, Charlie Sheen continues his winning streak in 2011 as one of the most popular Halloween costumes.

According to trends from Yahoo search data, Sheen is the most popular costume for Halloween 2011. According to the Washington Times, though, “Angry Birds” is the most “sought after.”

Released in 2009, “Angry Birds” is a game for smartphones featuring wingless birds.

Alyssa Scott, an employee at Party Place in Boardman, said “Angry Birds” has been a popular costume this year.

James noticed that pirate costumes seem to be a popular look this year at Ward’s Costume Shoppe, but not many others stood out.

“There’s many costumes to pick from, but ultimately people are just going to be whatever they like,” she said.