After this weekend’s events, somewhere, someone is feeling some sympathy for crazy Jigsaw. But it ain’t the competition. The “Saw” franchise dominated Halloween and October moviegoing so much over the past five years it got to the point that other studios won’t open any major films within two weeks of the Lionsgate monster. Well, that era is thankfully over.
In what may be a combination of the horror franchise losing its appeal as well as the power of this weekend’s champ “Paranormal Activity,” “Saw VI” opened to a very disappointing $14.8 million 3-day, barely beating “Where The Wild Things Are” for No. 2. In comparison, last year’s “Saw V” grossed $30 million over its opening weekend. This will certainly be torture for Lionsgate execs who may have gone to the Jigsaw well too many times. A seventh “Saw” in 3-D was planned for 2010, but the company may want to reconsider that at this point.
The main culprit in “Saw’s” demise was the continuing phenomenon of “Paranormal Activity.” In a remarkable turn, the low-budget flick grossed another $22 million for a startling $62 million cume. An even more impressive comparison, “Paranormal” knocked “Saw” off its expected perch while playing in 1,000 less theaters. That’s pretty amazing. Already guaranteed to be one of the most profitable releases in the history of Paramount Pictures, no one is counting an eventual $100 million gross at this point.
Getting somewhat of a Saturday bump, Spike Jonze’s “Where The Wild Things Are” dropped 56% from its opening weekend for a second round gross of $14.2 million for the weekend and $53.9 million so far. The fact it lost the mid-week box office to “Paranormal” is a sign its audience is fading fast. While many adore it, “Wild Things” should end up with only $75-80 million or so domestic when all is said in done.
The weekend’s other new releases were nothing but afterthoughts in the minds of moviegoers. “The Vampire’s Assistant” found only $6.3 million weekend proving not all blood suckers are box office blockbusters these days. Speaking of “Twilight,” “Astro Boy” was yet another Summit opening not connected to Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart that couldn’t find an audience. The CG animated flick powered up only $7 million for the 3-day. And lastly, Fox Searchlight’s “Amelia” couldn’t get off the ground. Even while playing in only 800 theaters, the biopic took off for only $4 million and any hopes at Oscar lost somewhere in the Pacific.
Here’s a breakdown of the weekend estimates for the top ten movies at the box office. Final figures are released on Monday.
1. “Paranormal Activity,” $22 million, $62 million to date.
2. “Saw VI,” $14.8 million
3. “Where The Wild Things Are,” $14.2 million, $53.9 million to date.
4. “Law Abiding Citizen,” $12 million, $40.2 million to date.
5. “Couples Retreat,” $11 million, $78.2 million to date.
6. “Astro Boy,” $7 million
7. “The Stepfather,” $6.5 million, $20.3 million to date.
8. “The Vampire’s Assistant,” $6.3 million
9. “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs,” $5.6 million, $115 million to date.
10. “Zombieland,” $4.3 million, $67 million to date.