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Last Chance to See Saw?

October 28th, 2010

Halloween falls on Sunday this year, and is generally a bad day at the box office, which will likely result in a massive drop-off for most films this weekend. However, there is one horror film opening wide, plus another that opened last weekend that could benefit. The overall effect will still likely be negative, but this time last year, Halloween fell on a Saturday, which is a lot worse for business. So 2010 could still come out on top in the year-over-year comparison, even if it is a close race.

Saw VII 3D makes its debut this weekend, making the franchise only one of about a dozen modern franchises to last that long. (It gets a little confusing when you start dealing with franchise crossovers, spin-offs, reboots, etc.) This film hopes to continue the successful trend where a franchise makes the leap to 3D, as Resident Evil and Final Destination recently did. Both of those films saw their 3D installment do 20% better numbers than the franchise average; however, both of those franchises were holding steady in terms of box office success and the most recent hit and franchise average were about the same for both. On the other hand, as a franchise, Saw peaked with the second installment and the decline as gotten quite precipitous lately. So even if we accept Saw VII 3D will make 20% more, the question still remains, 20% more than what? 20% more than the most recent installment would be just $33 million, which would certainly kill the franchise. On the other hand, 20% more than the average would be $74 million and 20% more than the peak would be $104 million. In order to reach $104 million at the box office, the film would need to start with close to $50 million, which I think is safe to ignore. To get to $74 million, it would need to open with $35 million, which is still on the high end. A $22 million weekend is probably the safest bet, but there's a pretty wide margin of error on either side. I know Lionsgate said this would be the last film in the franchise, but if it does hit $74 million, I'm sure they will make another.

Paranormal Activity 2 has to deal with direct competition, but at least it has good reviews and Halloween helping it out. That said, a 50% drop-off is practically guaranteed, while a 60% drop-off is not out of the question. That leaves a range of $16 million to $20 million, with most predicting it will end up on the high side. Go with $19 million over the weekend for a total of $68 million after two.

Jackass 3D will also see a sharp decline in ticket sales over the weekend, as it shares a lot of its target audience with Saw VII 3D, plus it won't benefit from Halloween as much. A drop-off of just over 50% would still leave it with close to $10 million over the weekend and a running tally of $101 million, which is more than enough to keep Paramount very, very happy.

Red should be very close behind with just over $9 million over the weekend and $57 million in total. This is more than original expectations and more than some sources say it cost to make. As long as it does respectable business internationally, it should earn a profit sometime during its home market run.

Hereafter won't go down as one of Clint Eastwood's biggest hits, nor will it be remembered as one of his greatest. That said, it should stick around the top five one more weekend with just over $7 million, which would lift its running tally to $23 million.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Paranormal Activity 2, Saw 3D, Red, Hereafter, Jackass 3D