The string of box office disappointments since the opening of IT continues this weekend. In fact, since the early September opening of IT only one film has really bested expectations at the box office (Happy Death Day), while most of the big openings have come in soft (Blade Runner 2049, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Ninjago Movie) or worse (Flatliners, Geostorm, mother!). With the exception of IT, it’s been a weak stretch at the box office dating back, really, to July and Dunkirk and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
This weekend proved to be no exception, as the Saw franchise returned for the first time in 7 years with Jigsaw and flamed out with $16 million, down $6 million from Saw 3D, the movie that did so poorly that Twisted Pictures put the kibosh on franchise. Halloween weekend is generally a tough weekend to crack because moviegoers are more focused on their Halloween celebrations, but even still, this is a disappointing opening for a franchise hoping to jumpstart itself. Reviews didn’t help (42 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is about right), although the film was well liked by audiences (a B Cinemascore, which is pretty good for a Saw film). The Saw movies, however, are made relatively cheaply ($10 million), so even after marketing costs, Jigsaw should be able to find its way back to break even (these movies actually do pretty well overseas, too).
Holdovers took slots two through five this weekend. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween grabbed second place with a decent $9.3 million in its second weekend. The Tyler Perry pic has now earned $35 million after 10 days. Geostorm took the three slot, falling 60 percent and fetching $5.4 million ($23 million after two weekends). The $120 million Gerard Butler pic isn’t going to come anywhere near profitable, even with overseas earnings. Fourth place went to Happy Death Day , which grabbed $4.7 million Halloween dollars as it approaches the $50 million mark (again, this movie was made for $5 million). Blade Runner 2049 inches over $80 million domestic with another $4 million this weekend; the $150 million movie has crossed $200 million overseas now. Not great, but not a huge disappointment.
The same can’t be said for Miles Tellers’ Thank You For Your Service, which struck out, landing in sixth place with only $4 million. The movie, which is basically a well-made PSA on combat PTSD, falls under the category of films that should be seen rather than a movie that viewers want to see. It’s bleak and depressing, but important. Good reviews (77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) unfortunately could not save the pic. That said, like him or not, Miles Teller is building a solid CV outside of the superhero realm with movies like this, Only the Brave, War Dogs, Bleed for This and Whiplash.
Meanwhile, Teller’s other film this month, Only the Brave comes in at number seven with $3.6 million, pushing its stateside total to $12 million after two weeks. Jackie Chan’s The Foreigner took eighth place with $3.2 million, as it ends the week just short of $30 million.
The weekend’s big disappointment is Suburbicon, which had a lot of big names going for it. It was directed by George Clooney based, in part, on a Coen Brother script and it starred Matt Damon and Julianne Moore. Unfortunately, it crashed at the box office, earning only $3 million in its opening weekend. Reviews did not help — critics gave it only 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s actually better than how audiences rated it. It received a D- Cinemascore from disappointed moviegoers who had no idea what to expect going in, but what they received clearly did not meet those expectations. The pic continues Clooney’s mixed performances as a director at the box office. Monuments Men was his best at the box office ($78 million), while Suburbicon is likely to fall beneath the $14 million of his previous worst, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (which, unlike Suburbicon, is a pretty good movie).
Suburbicon finished just ahead of 10th place IT ($2.3 million, $323 million overall), and still performed better than All I See Is You, which landed with a thud, earning only $152,000 in nearly 300 theaters,despite a known director in Marc Forster (Quantum Solace, World War Z) and star Blake Lively. Meanwhile, the faith-based Let There Be Light starring Kevin Sorbo could only muster $1.6 million this weekend despite heavy promotion on social media from producer Sean Hannity. Also, if you’re keeping track, Michael Fassbende’s The Snowman continues to crater, adding only $1.2 million in its second weekend to bring it up to $5.7 million.
Next weekend should see the box office finally break out of its funk in a big way with Thor: Ragnarok expected to break $100 million. A Bad Moms Christmas, a sequel to Bad Moms, should perform well as counter-programming. Oscar season gets underway in earnest, too, with limited releases Last Flag Flying from Richard Linklater, Woody Harrelson’s LBJ, and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.