Weekend Box Office: The Fall of Saw

Saw 6 PhotoMovie critics the world over are rejoicing this weekend as audiences rejected the sixth Saw film, which, as many agree, are six films too many. With weekend box office tallies in, Saw VI earned less than $15 million in theaters, half of what Saw V opened to and even less than the original Saw‘s entry.

Are audiences finally tired of the repetitive nature of the Saw movies? I sure hope so. Saw V was so bad I couldn’t sit all the way through it, and I vowed to never watch another one ever again (though my brother, who went to the latest premiere, said that this one wasn’t half bad – and that coming from someone who rightfully believed that the first Saw movie was absolutely terrible). Even loyal Saw fans were put off by the fifth entry, and that may have led to this round’s decline.

Of course, the real reason Saw VI fell is that it had direct competition in another, more positively received horror movie titled Paranormal Activity, which won the box office weekend with $22 million. The little horror movie that could, which cost only $11,000 to make and $300,000 to purchase, is the quintessential definition of profitability: having earned $62 million so far, it has made back its production costs 5600 time over. More importantly, Paranormal Activity, which is actually scary, has denied Lionsgate the chance to market that “Saw VI is the #1 horror movie in America.”

Of course, next year’s Saw VII, which is already in the works, will reveal whether the failure of Saw VI is a fluke or a trend. Considering that Lionsgate has basically relied on the brand to sell the movies for the last several years, we may see some more intricate marketing to try to attract audiences beyond its core demographic. Let’s hope that the Saw movies will continue to fade – though it will be some time before Lionsgate starts losing money on these ventures. With a production budget of around $10 million, even Saw VI‘s meager opening has already put the film in the black.

The other new movies of the weekend were dead on arrival. The Godawful-looking Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant earned a paltry $6.3 million. Twilight, it is not. Astro Boy debuted with only $7 million, and the first real Oscar contender of the fall to open semi-wide, Amelia, fell flat, opening outside the top ten with $4 million and a 17% rotten rating at RottenTomatos. Ouch.

Head on over to the FilmJabber home page for the entire top ten at this weekend’s box office.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Box Office