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Saw Can't Save October

October 29th, 2007

We finally had a massive box office hit at the box office this week as Saw IV lived up to expectations. This helped the overall box office grow to $102 million, which is 6% more than last weekend. However, it was weaker than the same weekend last year by 3%, which stretches the losing streak to 6 weeks.

First the good news: Saw IV opened in first with $31.76 million, which was easily the best opening of the weekend, and indeed of the month. However, it was weaker than Saw III, despite a stronger opening day, which is the first time in the series that the latest installment didn't open faster than the previous ones. In addition, it earned terrible reviews, including 0% positive from the cream-of-the-crop. Weaker reviews, a smaller internal multiplier, and sequelitis all suggest short, short legs, which will leave the film struggling to hit $75 million and it might not top 1408 at the box office.

Dan in Real Life was one of the only pleasant surprises of the Fall as it opened surprisingly strongly with $11.81 million over the weekend. Reviews flirted with the overall positive level all week and finally popped over, hitting 63% positive at the moment. This, and the more mature target demographic should help it earn strong legs, but the per theater average of $6,148 doesn't really suggest the possibility of major expansion. That said, it could come close to original expectations, which were based on a wider opening.

30 Days of Night held up to expectations nearly perfectly with $6.86 million over the weekend and $27.48 million in total. Its drop-off of 57% was respectable given its genre and direct competition, but with a rather high production budget, it needed to earn more.

The Game Plan was tracking for a 30% drop-off, which is incredible in this day and age. However, it managed to beat that, and was down just 25% to $6.13 million over the weekend for a total of $76.94 million after a month of release. With major films aimed at kids opening practically every weekend in November, this will be the film's last appearance in the top five, but it has already earned more than enough to be considered a success.

Why Did I Get Married collapsed, falling more than 50% to $5.64 million, but it lifted its total to $47.20 million, which is more than enough to please the studio.

It was a busy week for the sophomore class, which was led by Gone, Baby, Gone, which was down less than 31% to $3.82 million, which lifted its box office to $11.23 million. The second weekend of the re-re-release of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D was just behind with $3.45 million over the weekend and $10.10 million in total. This is more than enough to suggest it becoming a yearly event. Strangely, The Comebacks didn't collapse over the weekend, but I guess it didn't have that far to fall. It was down less than 40% to $3.37 million for a total of $9.93 million. Rendition's performance was weaker, down 42% to $2.37 million for the weekend and $7.82 million in total. It was even worse for Things We Lost in the Fire, as that film fell more than 53% to just $732,000 over the weekend and $2.85 million in total. Finally, and it feels mean just bringing this up, Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour fell more than 85% to just $84,000 over the weekend and $626,000 in total. This film should have never gotten a wide release.

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Filed under: The Game Plan, Saw IV, Why Did I Get Married?, Dan in Real Life, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D, Gone, Baby, Gone, The Comebacks, Rendition, Things We Lost in the Fire, Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour, 30 Days of Night