Movies & TV / News

411 Box Office Report: Jigsaw Knocks Madea Halloween Out of Top Spot

October 29, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Laura Vandervoort - Jigsaw

The Saw franchise returned to the top of the box office this weekend, albeit at a relatively modest level. Jigsaw claimed the #1 spot in its opening weekend with $16.3 million after seven years off for the once-yearly horror series. While the number is the lowest opening for the franchise since Saw VI’s $14.1 million beginning in 2009, it is also an overperformance from the $12 million or so that most analysts expected it to do.

Jigsaw’s opening is a perfect tale of the ups and downs of trying to restart a horror franchise after several years off. The Saw franchise once dominated the horror genre, posting four straight $30 million-plus openings between 2005 (Saw II) to 2008 (Saw V). But diminishing returns led to the franchise ending with Saw 3D in 2010, and esteem for the franchise has faded in the years since as the genre moved away from torture porn.

Still, there’s market value there and Lionsgate knew they could get some more money out of it — though that can be a risky proposition. The opening is one that a lot of people will be looking down on, and it’s certainly a far cry from its predecessors. But Lionsgate didn’t have expectations that this film would hit the heights of the franchise. One thing they can take (some) solace in is that the film is the second-best reviewed of the series, albeit at a mere 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. By comparison, Saw 3D had an ugly 9%. The B CinemaScore is a good one as well for the genre, matching many of the previous films’ scores and ahead of those for Saw 3D (B-) and Saw V (C).

Lionsgate does have one problem on their hands: box office legs. The Saw franchise has a horrible reputation on this front, with the highest multiple outside of the first two sitting at a mere 2.39. And that was for Saw III. Later films averaged an ugly 1.96 multiple, and with some major male-skewing films on the horizon, Jigsaw may not fare much better. The film had holds throughout the weekend that falls more in line with Saw 3D, so a 2.0 multiple at least seems acheivable. That would put it at $32 million to $33 million domestically. Overseas the film got off to a $9.5 million start in forty-six markets, an okay but not great beginning. Still, on a $10 million budget it should be just fine, if not a rejuvenated blockbuster series for Lionsgate.

Jigsaw knocked Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween down to #2 for the weekend. The horror comedy sequel scored $10 million, which was a drop of 53% from the opening weekend. That’s far higher than the 40% second-weekend drop of the first Madea Halloween, though better than the likes of Madea’s Witness Protection (60%) and Madea’s Big Happy Family (61%). The film is now up to $35.5 million domestically and $35.7 million worldwide, and should be able to finish its run around $55 million or so. On a $25 million production budget and low marketing costs, it’s in good shape.

Geostorm, on the other hand, followed up its low start with a bad drop. The disaster action film managed just $5.7 million in its second weekend, a rough 59% drop. That would be above average for your average blockbuster action film. For one that got off to a quiet start, that’s just not good at all. The Gerard Butler-headlined film is now up to $23.6 million domestically and $137 million worldwide on a $120 million budget. Whiile the overseas numbers are strong, it needs to kick in a lot more to make back the movie’s $120 million budget plus marketing. Domestically it doesn’t seem likely to top $40 million at this point.

Happy Death Day stabilized some, down 46% in its third weekend to $5.1 million. The Groundhog Day-like horror flick is now at $48.4 million domestically and $68.6 million worldwide, which are both great. The budget was $4.8 million and with a likely $60 million finish domestically, it is a hit.

Blade Runner 2049 was down 46% in its fourth weekend to $4.0 million. The sci-fi sequel now has $81.4 million domestically and $223.4 million overseas thus far. The $150 million budget means that it still needs to continue strong internationally to avoid losing Warner Bros. money. In the US, it seems to be aiming for around $95 million as a final total.

Military drama Thank You for Your Service was dead out of the gate, opening at just $3.7 million. That’s a rough start for the film, which was hoping to at least hit the mid-high single digits. The Miles Teller-fronted film seemed to suffer from a combination of bad timing and poor marketing here. While critics liked it at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes and those who saw it enjoyed it (A- CinemaScore), many stayed away due to the heavy content that the film’s trailers suggested. In addition, it had the misfortune of opening immediately after Only the Brave, which also stars Teller and leaned into a more somber tone.

If there is good news for Service, it’s that the budget was moderate at $20 million and that it should manage okay holds. Still, that won’t likely get the film too far above $12 million to $15 million by the end of its run, not enough for a profit for Universal.

Speaking of Only the Brave, it was off 43% to $3.5 million in its second week. The firefighter drama is now sitting at $11.9 million domestically and $12.4 million worldwide. It should be able to end its run around $20 million to $25 million, not enough for profit on a $38 million budget.

The Foreigner was off 45% in its third weekend to $3.2 million. The Jackie Chan-starring action thriller is in pretty good shape, as it sits at $28.8 million domestically and $117.2 million worldwide on a $35 million budget. DOmestically it is still aiming for around $35 million or so.

The biggest loser of the weekend was Suburbicon, which opened at a whimper with $2.8 million. George Clooney’s latest directorial effort was hoped to get as high as $10 million, but wasn’t even close. That was thanks to low reviews (26% on RT) and horrendous audience reaction (a D CinemaScore), coupled with a general sense of apathy for the crime comedy’s undersold marketing attempts. The opening is the lowest for star Matt Damon since All the Pretty Horses had just $1.3 million in 2000. There’s nothing that will save Suburbicon, which shouldn’t make it too far above $8 million to $10 million. With a $25 million budget, Paramount is taking a hit on this one.

It held on for a last weekend in the top ten with $2.5 million. That brought the horror film to $323.7 million domestically and a stellar $666.6 million worldwide (yes, that’s the actual total), making it the ninth-highest grossing film worldwide of the year. The movie is still headed toward $330 million in the US. The budget was $35 million.

Next weekend will see Thor: Ragnarock revitalize the box office with an estimated $110 million to $120 million start. A Bad Mom’s Christmas opens on Wednesday and is aiming for a mid-high teens weekend.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Jigsaw – $16.3 million ($16.3 million total)
2. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween – $10 million ($35.5 million total)
3. Geostorm – $5.7 million ($23.6 million total)
4. Happy Death Day – $5.1 million ($48.4 million total)
5. Blade Runner 2049 – $4 million ($81.4 million total)
6. Thank You for Your Service – $3.7 million ($3.7 million total)
7. Only the Brave – $3.5 million ($11.9 million total)
8. The Foreigner – $3.2 million ($28.8 million total)
9. Suburbicon – $2.8 million ($2.8 million total)
10. It – $2.5 million ($323.7 million total)