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Weekend Box Office: Jigsaw Tops Slow Halloween Period with Few Treats to Be Found

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By Chris Kavan - 10/29/17 at 07:04 PM CT

While the Halloween spirit was in full effect - three out of the top five films at the box office are horror-themed, it was still not quite reason to celebrate as two new films struggled to find an audience, leading to a weekend that was down $18 million compared to last year. Blame Stranger Things season 2 for keeping people at home or just blame Hollywood for their timing but this weekend is only going to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

1) JIGSAW

The first Saw film in seven years opened at the top of the box office, but with just $16.25 million, it was the second-lowest opening for a Saw film behind just the $14 million for Saw VI (and, adjusted for inflation, would be the lowest of the series). Still, with just a $10 million price tag, the studio was probably hoping nostalgia would drive audiences back into theaters, but I think most nostalgia fans were at home remembering the 80s. If the film follows a similar pattern to previous Saw films, Jigsaw is looking at finishing out in the $30-$35 million range, not bad, but will need a bit of home viewing help to offset those marketing costs. The film earned a "B" Cinemascore (on par with the previous Saw films as well) and that audience was split nearly evenly between men and women, and was also about split between those over and under the age of 25. I don't see this having much staying power beyond the Halloween holiday and with Thor on the way, will probably not stick around that long.

2) BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN

Dipping about 53% in its second weekend, Tyler Perry's horror-themed sequel added another $10 million to its total, which now stands at $35.5 million. Sure, it's running well behind the original film's $52.5 million through the same point, but I don't think anyone was expecting it to be that big. With a $25 million budget, Boo 2! should still be in the clear in the long run and I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes an annual tradition (at least for one more go around) for Perry and his fans, as Halloween has been kind to this franchise. Again, I expect this to fall hard post-Halloween but if it can inch towards that $50 million mark, it should turn out just fine.

3) GEOSTORM

The biggest news for Geostorm wasn't even on the domestic front, where the big-budget apocalyptic weather drama dipped 58.6% and earned a mere $5.67 million for a total of $23.55 million. However, the $120 million budgeted film did earn a respectable $34.5 million in China, which gives Geostorm a much better-looking $113.4 million overseas, but with just $136.9 million worldwide, and a heavy marketing push (that obviously didn't work out), I don't think this one is going to wind up in the black no matter how hard it pushes.

4) HAPPY DEATH DAY

The third horror film to make an appearance in the top five for the Halloween weekend, Happy Death Day took a 45.5% hit and added about $5.1 million to its total, which now stands at $48.4 million. That is great news, as the film has now earned 10x its $4.8 million budget - not including an extra $20 million for the overseas total. That $68 million worldwide looks really good - not It level numbers, but still a great showing for an original horror film, just like it should perform this time of year and hopefully means that studios take more effort to bring us these shiny horror gems on a regular basis.

5) BLADE RUNNER 2049

Rounding out the top five, Blade Runner 2049 fell 46.1% and took in $3.96 million for a new $81.38 million total or a little over half of its $150 million budget. If Blade Runner 2049 was hoping for a bailout from China, it's not going to happen as it had an equally dismal debut there, with a mere $7.6 million over the weekend. Globally, the film has earned just $223.5 million worldwide, with $250 million likely out of range. The film is likely going to lose money and no amount of good will is going to fix that.


Outside the top five: Thank You for Your Service may have hoped its dramatic, patriotic message would resonate with audiences, but they were not in the giving spirit as the film couldn't crack the top five with a sixth place $3.7 million debut. Critics gave it a decent mark (68% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audience awarded it a solid "A-" Cinemascore, but it just didn't draw that big of crowd. The Miles Teller-led PTSD drama is probably going to wind up lucky to hit $10 million. For Universal, it represents the third-worst opening for any of their films debuting on 2000 or more screens.

Still, it doesn't equal the worst of the week, which belongs to George Clooney's misfire, Suburbicon. Suffering bad reviews (27% on Rotten Tomatoes) and a terrible "D-" Cinemascore (and "F" among those over 50 - who made up 54% of the audience), the film opened to a mere $2.8 million in 9th place. That is the lowest-opening film for star Matt Damon as well as the worst opening for Paramount for a film playing in 2000 or more theaters (Sixth worst for 600 or more screens, for the record). This one is going to exit theaters as quickly as it came in.

An because it's Halloween, we can end on a spooky note with, what else, our favorite horror film of the year, It. With a $2.46 million weekend (10th place), It bumped its domestic total to $323.7 million (and will soon pass Suicide Squad's $325 million in short order) but that also meant it ended its global total at, no kidding, $666 million - just in time for Halloween.

Next week A Bad Mom's Christmas is going to get the jump on Thor with a Wednesday debut while Thor: Ragnarok (which debuted internationally with $108 million overseas) will dominate the weekend.

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