Box Office Guru Preview: Saw IV Set to Brutalize All Competitors

Dan in Real Life only other wide opener.

Jigsaw's twisted games return for another late-October round of torture fun with Saw IV which should allow the lucrative franchise to claim the biggest horror opening of the year for the second straight time. The R-rated gorefest follows last year's Saw III which bowed to $33.6M this very weekend setting a new debut record for the series. Jigsaw's death in that installment did not stop a fourth flick from being produced since the most popular horror movie villains never truly die anyway. Although III set a new opening weekend record for the Lionsgate series, it did not match Saw II's overall $87M gross and instead finished a bit behind with $80.2M. Still, with small budgets (Saw III was produced for $12M) this cash cow continues to churn out profits and shows no sign of stopping.

The audience for Saw IV is clearly defined and new fans are not likely to be generated. Competition will come primarily from last weekend's number one opener 30 Days of Night which will suffer a sharp fall this weekend. Otherwise, there is not much to distract genre fans on the weekend before the pumpkin holiday. The marketing has been on par with previous films, but as the franchise ages it risks losing fans who may have had enough with three helpings already. Plus this year has seen a wide assortment of horror films crash and burn which has led to some fright fatigue. Another factor could be the World Series which last year only affected Saw III's Friday bow but this year will cut into both Saturday and Sunday business. Many young adults may opt for the torture that the Red Sox are inflicting on the Rockies instead. Saw IV opens on Friday in 3,183 locations and could take in about $29M over three days.


Saw IV

Steve Carell provides some laughs to those not interested in Halloween horror. Following the relatively disappointing $100.3M gross for his $175M budgeted comedy Evan Almighty, the funnyman returns in the dramedy Dan in Real Life playing a depressed widower who falls for his brother's girlfriend during a family reunion weekend. Juliette Binoche and Dane Cook co-star. The PG-13 film is not a full-fledged comedy so it won't attract the entire Carell fan base that has grown rapidly over the years thanks to The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the hit sitcom The Office. Also Buena Vista is not releasing the film too wide so the numbers will be kept to a manageable level. Dan should skew mostly to an adult audience so a cluttered marketplace filled with options for mature moviegoers will be a factor too. A poor title won't help either. Though reviews have been generally positive for this lovable loser tale, a large number of moviegoers might just wait for the DVD on this one. Dan in Real Life stumbles into more than 1,700 theaters on Friday and could collect about $9M.


Steve Carell in Dan in Real Life

Last weekend vampires ruled the box office with 30 Days of Night, but this time a steep fall is guaranteed. Horror pics always drop hard on the second weekend and add in the arrival of Saw which will steal away the same audience, and a 55% decline could result. That would give Sony about $7M for the frame and a decent ten-day total of $27M. Tyler Perry's hit comedy Why Did I Get Married? has little in the way of new competition to deal with which means another good hold is likely. The Lionsgate pic may slide by 40% to around $7M as well and boost its 17-day total to $48M.


30 Days of Night

The Game Plan has been the fall season's top grosser and Disney once again has no threats opening against it. The Rock's durable hit should dip by 30% to roughly $6M for a cume to date of $76M. George Clooney's well-reviewed legal drama Michael Clayton will face some competition for adults from Steve Carell this weekend, but a solid hold does seem likely. A 30% drop would put the Warner Bros. title at $4.5M for the session and lift the sum to $28M.

LAST YEAR: Like clockwork, Saw III came in and dominated the pre-Halloween box office with a franchise-best $33.6M debut grossing more than the rest of the top five combined. The Jigsaw pic eroded fast and ended up trailing Saw II's total tally and finished with $80.2M. Holding tight in second place was Martin Scorsese's crime saga The Departed with $9.8M in its fourth assignment and the lowest drop in the top ten. The magician drama The Prestige followed closely in third with $9.6M. The war drama Flags of Our Fathers ranked fourth with $6.3M while the animated hit Open Season placed fifth with $5.9M. Opening to dismal results outside the top ten was the Tim Robbins drama Catch A Fire with only $2M on its way to a horrible $4.3M. Platforming in only seven sites was the ensemble drama Babel which went on to gross $34.3M and win the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Drama.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Comments

killermonkey8822

Joey Chid

saw sucks!....... is there anybody out there that can actually agree with me on this one?

Oct 25 - 06:03 PM

foodstamps_govermentcheez

Jason Schaber

Na we cant agree yet,The Saw franchise in my opion really is smart film making.If the majority of us didn't really care for all the Saw movies then the director wouldn't be making 4,5. or 6 of these films.........Keep'em coming they are all good.

Oct 25 - 08:24 PM

sir_mcchris_the_pirate

Chris McCall

hahaha. I cant take anyone that actually liked Saw 3, seriously, I laugh in their face.

Oct 25 - 11:25 PM

will c.

will clark

Every one of the Saw movies blows. Im tired of people telling me that the first movie was ok. I pretty sure some old dude dying of cancer wouldn't be able to throw his hands on me.. I'd whoop that ***! I thought Death Sentence was better and I didn't like that movie either.. James Wann Sucks! NOT SCARY OR SHOCKING TO ME..

Jan 26 - 02:13 PM

GoldbergsVariations

Z Gold

I do

Oct 25 - 06:19 PM

witherwings

Jamie Lynn

Loved the first one, the second one was too gory and not suspenseful enough, the third gave me a headache/stomach-ache. No more for me.

Oct 25 - 06:41 PM

bribios

brian wilson

seconded. Still, it's only a matter of time before someone cites the movie series' tremendous money making ability, and justifies the series as good because of this. They have a good half argument, but B.O. returns are not necessarily an indicator of a movies quality. If that were the case, "Titanic" would be far and away the best movie ever made.

I think they should turn Saw into a television series. If they can pump out a new movie every year, I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to make a 13 or 25 episode series. Then again, if editorialists are correct, the whole torture craze is winding up anyway, so maybe my idea comes a couple years too late.

Oct 25 - 06:47 PM

ImaRobot

Jason Perry

possibly stephen colbert..

Oct 26 - 02:03 PM

crystalwhiteeyes

Tommy Savor

When will people realise that blood and gore do NOT equal scary. The first one was good, the second one was decent. I haven't seen the third movie yet, but I'm not eager to. Sequels are only needed to continue a much needed story to draw a conclusion. Saw doesn't qualify in the least. Is there ever going to be an end? We'll see, but you can clearly tell there milking it for the money.

Oct 25 - 07:01 PM

Bloody Mathias

Mathias N/A

Nobody cares about Saw's quality. I hate this series but that isn't gonna stop people from seeing this gore-fest for halloween. No matter how much you guys whine, it's still gonna crack the $30 million mark and be tops.

At least we'l have a year off before it comes roaring back in '09 with a $40 mill opening weekened.

Oct 25 - 07:11 PM

cRaZyBrOs2

Caleb Hyles

Uh, who is this "nobody" you are talking about? I'm an avid fan of th Saw franchise and I can promise you I would go see a Saw film if it was rated PG. Look at it from this point of view. Hostel 2 bombed;Why? That movie right there is nothing, but TORTURE PORN. Saw is a mystery puzzle. Saw includes gore and torture, but there is something about Saw that justifies its torture methods. I, and many others care, about Saw's quality. What do you think we are;Ravaging humans just wanting a piece of meat dangled over our heads? If what you people are saying is that we only go see Saw because of the torture, you are absolutely WRONG! That's really what my point is.

Oct 25 - 07:49 PM

XBSHX

Mike Merritt

I'm not here to bash anyone but why are you all acting as if your opinions are fact? They aren't. I enjoy the saw franchise though the third one wasn't the greatest. I have high hopes that IV will go back to its roots with less gore and more of a psychological style horror movie like the first one. If you truly don't like them just don't watch them, nobody is forcing you to.

Yes I agree that gore does not equal scary, too much ruins a movie actually. In the saw franchise a certain amount is needed to really give you an idea of whats happening. The "Needle Pit" from II was one of the only things in a movie that really made me squeamish, this shows that tons of gore is not needed though there needs to be some.

Oct 25 - 07:51 PM

foodstamps_govermentcheez

Jason Schaber

Na we cant agree yet,The Saw franchise in my opion really is smart film making.If the majority of us didn't really care for all the Saw movies then the director wouldn't be making 4,5. or 6 of these films.........Keep'em coming they are all good.

Oct 25 - 08:24 PM

sir_mcchris_the_pirate

Chris McCall

hahaha. I cant take anyone that actually liked Saw 3, seriously, I laugh in their face.

Oct 25 - 11:25 PM

sir_mcchris_the_pirate

Chris McCall

hahaha. I cant take anyone that actually liked Saw 3, seriously, I laugh in their face.

Oct 25 - 11:25 PM

Bardego

Robert Hamer

I started not caring about the Saw series when Jigsaw's reasons for torturing people became really trivial. He always does it to people with obscure personal problems ("You're too preoccupied with the dead" or "You need to get over your son's death"). Why doesn't he ever kidnap pedophiles, or mass murderers, or serial rapists? Maybe I just never understood the character, but is an FBI informant (from Saw II) *really* in need of a lesson in appreciating life - more so than people who do REAL harm to others?

Oct 25 - 11:35 PM

hewpot

Ballsack Enormous

"hahaha. I cant take anyone that actually liked Saw 3, seriously, I laugh in their face"

....there all the same ****ing movie, saw 1 2 and 3 are formulas of themselves, all very very badly done

Oct 26 - 01:35 AM

0LDB0Y

OLD BOY

The reason why Jr High was created was because one of the leading American psychologists at that time concluded that adolescents at that particular age are evil in nature. So this was done to isolate them from the rest. And thanks to them, we can enjoy Saw every year for the next 50 years.

Oct 26 - 02:43 AM

jasperoosterveld

Jasper Oosterveld

Saw 1 is amazing but after that is just sucks ***, i really hope it flops big time, but probally not.

Oct 26 - 03:04 AM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

wow...i just read "saw" and "quality" in the same sentence. as well as some 2ss calling it "smart movie making". holy sh3t...i think its the end of the world. if you dillholes can't see whats happening 5 minutes before it actually does...you BETTER be 15 or younger or else you're mentally slow. if they actually TRIED to be creative and wasn't SO ridiculously predictable...they'd be ok. they're no better than what you see at the local video store that took a coupla bucks to make with a sh3tty vid camera and actors you've never heard of...

Oct 26 - 05:39 AM

Shatter24

Jeremiah Rancourt

The Saw franchise strikes on the same cord that the Friday the 13th cord did in the '80s & Scream/I Know What You Did L.S. did in the '90s. A continuing horror series w/ about the same story, that appeals primarily to teens - '20s. So, there is a precident for this.

The '80s were more for the slasher flick/sexual guilt; the '90s were self-aware horror w/ "Friends" like casts, and '00s are for the torture horror flicks. However, I agree w/ the other editorialists. This trend is coming to a close. When the imitators can no longer bring in the money, and only the original (Saw) is left and that is limping after #3's lame installment, there won't be much money left in the series. Still, Saw doesn't need to make much to justify new ones (esp. if its the only torture series still going).

Oct 26 - 05:44 AM

ImaRobot

Jason Perry

possibly stephen colbert..

Oct 26 - 02:03 PM

arcadefire325

Angela Brannan

no one would see saw if it was rated PG!!!! you are lying your *** off!!! you would be on RT complaining for more gore. if the story was the reason that saw was being made, then why did jame wan, the first saw director, put MORE GORE in it to satisfy horror fans??? saw 1 was rated PG-13 when it was the film was first finished. james wan went back and added gore to trap scenes to make it R-rated.

Oct 29 - 09:15 AM

will c.

will clark

Every one of the Saw movies blows. Im tired of people telling me that the first movie was ok. I pretty sure some old dude dying of cancer wouldn't be able to throw his hands on me.. I'd whoop that ***! I thought Death Sentence was better and I didn't like that movie either.. James Wann Sucks! NOT SCARY OR SHOCKING TO ME..

Jan 26 - 02:13 PM

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