Posted on 11/21/10 05:08 PM | Last edited on 11/21/10 05:08 PM
As everyone should know by now, Horror in Australia doesn't seem to get a liking from the public. It seems like nowadays, if a horror grosses anything above $3m, thats good for a horror movie. Horror is a beautiful genre, but has it's duds, and thats why I think alot of people keep their distance from horror at the cinema. But every know and then, we have a franchise that's quite the success here, with the Saw franchise leading the pack. Back in the day the "Nightmare On Elm Street", "Halloween" and "Friday The Thirteenth" franchises had a healthy combined grosses. Only a few franchises in the 2000's managed to get lucky: Final Destination, and most recently Paranormal Activity. The Saw movies, though, have had continuous success, usually being the highest grossing HORROR film of their year in Australia.
Saw - Decemer 2, 2004
Hoyts marketed this flick heavily on it's Aussie filmmakers, and it's sadistic gore. They predicted a $1.2m opening, and they weren't far off. The flick opened at #4 with $1,100,006 at extremely high (for a horror) 161 screen-count. It's 2nd and 3rd weeks saw only 40% and 30% declines from word-of-mouth, and the film eventually finished it's cinematic run with a healthy $4,321,072.
Saw II: November 17, 2005
Hoyts predicted a $1.4m opening, and the film was marketed heavily on it's gore again. The film opened to a #1 ranking, beating out Jodie Foster's Flightplan opening, and grossed $1,756,029 at a huge horror screen-count of 173 for a $10,150 screen average. The flick was Hoyts Distribution's first #1 film since re-launching in 2002, and became their #1 grossing film since re-launching (until a year later). It had impressive holding power, with 42%, 48%, and 28% declines in it's following weeks. It's total Australian gross stands at $5,795,062.
Saw III: November 2, 2006
The franchises had clearly been a phenomen amongst people in Australia, and hoyts penned a $1.8m opening, something that is unseen for horror. upon opening weekend, the film became Hoyts highest debut gross since relaunching, and went on to become their highest grossing film since relaunch (until the Twilight Quadrilogy was released from 2008 - present). It opened at #1 like it's preceeder with a brilliant $2,568,186 with a $12,378 average for the 208 screen's it was released at. The film didn't have quite the same holding power as it's preceeder's, having respectable declines of 53%, 50% and 52% in it's further weeks. The flick grossed a excellent $6,668,321 for a horror film.
Saw IV: October 26, 2007
The fourth film was released the weekend before Halloween, and Hoyts had hoped for a $2m opening. The flick opened just behind with $1,843,245 at the series high 238 screens. it was the 3rd consecutive #1 opening for the franchise, but it was clear the flick wouldn't prove as successful as III. Weekend #2 saw a 44% dip (a decrease usual for the genre). another 55% dip saw the start of massive declines for the film. It finished theatrically with a run of $4,876,710.
Saw V: October 23, 2008
A predicted $1.6m opening franchises was predicted, and quite respectable considering the last 3 films opened with more than that. It opened ranked #2 with a $1,366,113 gross which was slightly dissapointing. On 200 screens, the flick didn't ignite them, but when a 5th film in a franchise is released, you can probably expect a decline in it's gross. Halloween was the weekend after, so the film was expected to hold better than usual, but the 51% decline was a slight dissapointment. It spent a few more weeks in cinemas before exiting with a gross of $3,563,281 which was the lowest for the franchise.
Saw VI: October 22, 2009
After the last film failed to reach it's expectations, the 6th film wasn't expected to explode the box office with hoyts at least hoping for a $1m opening. The flick opened on 164 screens with a mediocre $914,411. Maybe the success of The Final Destination 3D (which was #1 a week earlier, and still above the film it's opening weekend) kept audiences away from Saw VI because the 3D technology wasn't released every weekend in a new film until 2010 :P. Either way, it was certain Saw VI would probably not even match V's gross, but something similar to Drag Me To Hell's $2.7m. Average declines continued until the film closed with a dissapointing franchise low with $2,512,398.
Saw VII 3D: October 28, 2010
So, when you have a franchise thats last film that was a moderate success compared to the whirlwind success of it's preceeding flicks, what do you do?. Put it in 3D. The storm of weekly 3D flicks churned out by distributors is astonishing, none of them really using the technology for their advantage, only as a gimmick and for a better income. So Hoyts marketed this flick soley on the 3D and the tagline that it's THE FINAL CHAPTER in the series. So when the film opened a week after latest horror phenomenon Paranormal Activity 2 does, you shouldnt expect to much, with Hoyts hoping for a $1m opening. The film couldn't reach the million mark, even with rised ticket prices and the release of the 3D and 2D versions. It opened on 148 screens with a $930,808 gross. While that's not amazing, it's pretty darn good for a R18+ flick here, where every cinema is clear on their "No id - No entry" policy. So when the 7th film was rated R18+ I was dissapointed, i had to go see it with my mother and best friend at the Drive-In instead of a cinema with a bunch of my friends. The R rating definately took at least half the gross the flick could've potentially made with mostly teenagers being the ones wanting to see it. A 50% 2nd weekend decline gave the film under $2m in 11 days. By weekend 3, the flick had almost reached Saw VI's total gross. TBC.
1: Saw III
2: Saw II
3: Saw IV
5: Saw V
6: Saw VI
7: Saw VII 3D
The franchise is the biggest grossing one in the world, but as you can see, Saw V was the dropping point for the films as from then on they started to plummet in grosses.