Sunday, October 31, 2010

Black Sheep @ The Box Office

Happy Halloween! I hope you go out there today and scare the crap out of people safely. I also hope you've Halloween'd it up all weekend really because this is the last time you will ever get the chance to. With the final chapter of the SAW series bowing in theatres this weekend, this must also be the last Halloween. It just won't be Halloween next year without SAW, after all.

At least SAW 3D gets to end the series on a reasonably successful note. Last year, SAW's consistently successful streak came to an end when PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, whose second installment suffered a much more regular second week horror decline this year, obliterated it on Halloween weekend. At $24 million, it has nearly matched the entire domestic run of the last film, which finished its pathetic showing with $27 million. The opening itself is about $10 million more as well but the majority of SAW 3D's screens are 3D screens and we all know how much more expensive those can be. SAW II remains the most successful of the franchise with a total domestic gross of $87 million. And SAW III holds the bragging rights to the biggest SAW opening weekend with $33.6 million. Still, SAW 3D boasts the third lowest opening weekend after SAW VI and the first SAW, obviously an untested product at the time. So, SAW 3D saves a little face but not too much. Considering the amount of faces that are mutilated in the film, that's fairly fitting. (For reviews of the latest SAW, click anywhere you see the title.)

Another franchise that continues to underwhelm is the Steig Larsson "girl" series, if you will. Final chapter, THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST, opened to $915K, the highest debut for the series in North America but it did so with the lowest per screen average amongst the three (approximately $6K compared to over $8.3K for THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and nearly $10K for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO). People apparently care to read books but not movies. I'm glad to see we have segmented our activities so strictly. (For reviews of all three films, click the film appropriate title.)

There isn't much other Top 10 news this weekend. Hilary Swank drama, CONVICTION whimpered its way in with a lackluster wide showing. And JACKASS 3D kicked it past the $100 million mark. I'm very proud.

NEXT WEEK: Things get a little busier again. The horror flicks will suffer huge declines to make way for DUE DATE, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis and directed by Todd Phillips, the dude who did THE HANGOVER, on 3200 screens. Even bigger still is the Will Ferrell/Brad Pitt-voiced animated film, MEGAMIND, on 3500 screens. Tyler Perry's first R-rated venture, FOR COLORED GIRLS, opens modestly on 2000 screens. And there are a couple of high profile platform releases as well. The Sean Penn/Naomi Watts thriller, FAIR GAME, debuts on 35 screens. While Danny Boyle's follow-up to the Oscar winning, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, 127 HOURS, starring Oscar-buzzed James Franco, opens on 4 screens.

Reviews are available for 127 HOURS, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and THE HANGOVER by clicking the titles. Reviews for DUE DATE and FOR COLORED GIRLS are coming to Black Sheep next weekend.

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