October is going out with a whimper at the box office, as Lionsgate’s “Jigsaw” will take the top spot this weekend with just an estimated $15 million from 2,941 screens against a $10 million budget. While that total is just below the high-teens opening projected by pre-weekend trackers, it is a lower opening than every other installment in the “Saw” franchise except for “Saw VI,” which made $14.1 million in 2009.
If this total holds, “Jigsaw” will have the lowest opening for a No. 1 film this year, lower than the $19.1 million opening made by “The Dark Tower” back in early August. The seven-year absence of “Jigsaw” from theaters hasn’t changed critics’ general dislike for the gory franchise, with reviews giving this film a 38 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The series’ hardcore fans were kinder to it, giving it a B on CinemaScore. By comparison, the highest CinemaScore grade for this franchise belongs to “Saw II,” which got a B+.
Meanwhile, the other two new wide releases, Paramount/Black Bear’s “Suburbicon” and Universal/DreamWorks’ “Thank You for Your Service,” are falling short of tracker expectations. Both films were expected to make between $5-7 million in their openings, but “Thank You for Your Service” will come away from just $4 million from 2,054 screens, putting it currently in a tie with “Blade Runner 2049” for the No. 5 spot. “Suburbicon” will take $3 million from 2,046 screens and place ninth for the weekend.
“Thank You for Your Service,” which had a marketing campaign aimed primarily at conservative states, has been well-received with a 77 percent RT score and an A from CinemaScore polls. “Suburbicon,” on the other hand, has failed critically despite a pedigree that includes George Clooney as director, Matt Damon and Julianne Moore in the lead roles, and the Coen Brothers co-writing the script. Critics and audiences panned the film’s attempts to balance comedy, thriller and satire, giving the film a 26 percent RT score and a D- on CinemaScore.
Meanwhile, “Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween” gave Lionsgate a 1-2 finish this weekend, falling 57 percent from its $21 million opening to an estimated $9.2 million in its second weekend. “Geostorm” is third with $5.2 million, while “Happy Death Day” is fourth with $4.6 million.