Moviegoers weren’t exactly dying to hit the multiplex on the weekend leading up to Halloween, as the horror movie Jigsaw is poised to top the box office with an estimated $16.3 million in the U.S. and Canada, coming in below industry projections along with fellow newcomers Suburbicon and Thank You for Your Service. When the dust settles, this should go down as one of the slowest frames of the year.
Making the eighth installment of Lionsgate’s Saw series, Jigsaw was intended to breathe new life into the gory franchise but is on track to open lower than all but one of its predecessors: Saw VI, which eked out $14.1 million in 2009.
Directed by brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, Jigsaw once again centers on a group of people held captive in intricate death traps by a mysterious assailant. The film received generally negative reviews, but the Saw movies have never been critical darlings, and audiences gave it a B CinemaScore — a solid mark for horror flicks in general and the Saw series in particular.
Dropping down to second place is another Lionsgate offering, Boo 2: A Madea Halloween, with about $10 million. That figure marks a so-so decline of 53 percent and brings the domestic total of the Tyler Perry comedy to $35.5 million after 10 days in theaters.
Rounding out the top five are Warner Bros’. disaster movie dud Geostorm, with an estimated $5.7 million; Universal’s slasher Happy Death Day, with an estimated $5.1 million; and WB’s sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 with an estimated $4 million.
Further down the list, the Miles Teller-starring military drama Thank You for Your Service is coming in below expectations with about $3.7 million, good for sixth place, while the George Clooney-directed dark comedy Suburbicon is bombing with about $2.8 million, putting it in the No. 9 spot.
Despite boasting a heavyweight cast that includes Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac, and a script originally penned by Joel and Ethan Coen (rewritten by Clooney and Grant Heslov), Suburbicon received poor reviews and a dreadful D-minus CinemaScore. The film centers on a 1950s community whose placid surface belies its inherent bigotry and rottenness.
Thank You for Your Service has fared better with critics and audiences, at least, garnering largely positive reviews and a sturdy A-minus CinemaScore. Directed by Jason Hall, the screenwriter of American Sniper, the film stars Teller as an Iraq war veteran who struggles to readjust to civilian life. Hall also wrote the script for Thank You, adapting David Finkel’s nonfiction book.
On the specialty front, Magnolia’s The Square will gross about $76,000 from four locations, for a per-theater average of $19,000; Open Road’s Blake Lively thriller All I See Is Your will take in about $135,504 from 283 locations ($479 per theater); and Atlas Distribution’s faith-based drama Let There Be Light will earn about $1.8 million from 373 locations ($4,826 per theater).
While the domestic box office has been quiet this weekend, Disney and Marvel’s superhero movie Thor: Ragnarok is making noise overseas, debuting to an estimated $107.6 million across 36 markets (which represent about 52 percent of its planned international footprint). That figure puts it ahead of recent Marvel offerings Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Doctor Strange, when comparing the same suite of territories at today’s exchange rates. Ragnarok opens domestically and in most remaining foreign markets Nov. 3.
According to ComScore, overall box office is down 5 percent year-to-date. Check out the Oct. 27-29 figures below.
1. Jigsaw — $16.3 million
2. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween — $10 million
3. Geostorm — $5.7 million
4. Happy Death Day — $5.1 million
5. Blade Runner 2049 — $4 million
6. Thank You for Your Service — $3.7 million
7. Only the Brave — $3.4 million
8. The Foreigner — $3.2 million
9. Suburbicon — $2.8 million
10. It — $2.5 million