Image Credit: Brooke PalmerMoviegoers were kind (or bloodthirsty) enough to provide the Saw franchise one last hurrah. Saw 3D, the seventh and supposed final entry in the successful horror series, imprisoned its competition and won the weekend by grossing $24.2 million, according to studio estimates. That’s up from the last Saw movie, Saw VI, which opened to a dull $14.1 million a year ago. However, Saw 3D‘s $24.2 million is only the fifth best debut for the series, so it’s clear that the franchise has lost some of its luster. Nevertheless, Lionsgate was quick to point out that the film, with a budget of less than $20 million, will still make a profit. According to the studio, 92 percent of Saw 3D‘s earnings came from 3-D screens, and 57 percent of the audience was less than 25 years old. CinemaScore audiences gave the flick a mediocre “B-” grade. Saw 3D will almost certainly tumble next weekend, but that’s been a common occurrence for the series — a series that, when all is said and done, will be buried with a domestic total of more than $400 million.
With Saw 3D as the only new wide release this weekend, the rest of the top five was occupied by holdovers that displayed varying signs of stamina. Last weekend’s winner, Paranormal Activity 2, plunged 59 percent for $16.5 million. The horror sequel has made $65.7 million after two weeks — a tremendous figure considering the film’s $3 million budget. But it appears the film may run out of steam before reaching the original movie’s final gross of $107.9 million. Summit’s Red remained in third place, dropping only 28 percent for $10.8 million and a cumulative tally of $58.9 million. The action comedy’s endurance, fueled mostly by older moviegoers, has been one of the most notable surprises this season. In fourth place, Jackass 3D plummeted 61 percent for a weekend grab of $8.4 million. The $20 million human spectacle will cross the $100 million mark today — the first R-rated comedy to do so since last year’s It’s Complicated. Rounding out the top five was Clint Eastwood’s supernatural drama Hereafter, which dropped 47 percent for $6.3 million.
In limited release, the Hilary Swank drama Conviction expanded to 565 theaters and earned a respectable $1.8 million — enough for 10th place. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the Swedish film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s third novel in the Millennium Trilogy, debuted in 13th place with $915,000 from 153 locations. The indie drama Welcome to the Rileys, starring Kristen Stewart and James Gandolfini, was given the cold shoulder by moviegoers. It grossed only $45,000 from 10 sites.
Check back next weekend as three new films — the Robert Downey Jr. comedy Due Date, Tyler Perry’s drama For Colored Girls, and DreamWorks’ animated Megamind — will battle for your money. And, no, you cannot buy a movie ticket with leftover Baby Ruths.
1. Saw 3D — $24.2 mil
2. Paranormal Activity 2 — $16.5 mil
3. Red — $10.8 mil
4. Jackass 3D — $8.4 mil
5. Hereafter — $6.3 mil