Lionsgate’s “Spiral” is off to a decent start at the box office, with industry estimates reporting an $8.7 million opening weekend from 2,811 screens.
That result would give the “Saw” spinoff the lowest opening in the history of the gory horror franchise, falling below the previous low of $14.1 million earned in 2009 by “Saw VI,” the only film in the franchise to not gross over $100 million worldwide.
But this was to be expected, as “Spiral” has opened to roughly 200 fewer theaters than “Saw VI” and is still facing a market where 35% of theaters in the U.S. and Canada are still closed. With a $20 million production budget, the film is still on pace to turn a profit, though it falls short of independent projections of a $10 million-plus launch. It is also on course to push the lifetime gross total for the “Saw” series” to $1 billion this week, as the film also grossed $3.3 million from 16 overseas markets, bringing the total to $993 million over nine “Saw” films.
Reception for the film, as has been the case for all “Saw” films, has been tepid with a 39% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and a B- on CinemaScore. By comparison, the original “Saw” earned a C+ on CinemaScore, while all of its sequels have received a grade in the B-range.
MGM/UA’s “Wrath of Man” is in second with $3.7 million grossed in its second weekend, giving it a 10-day total of $14.6 million. The film also opened to $7.1 million in China and took in $13.5 million from all international territories to give it a global total of $56 million.
In third is Warner Bros.’ “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” which earned just a $2.8 million opening from 3,188 locations, as the film was released both on HBO Max and in theaters. That is below other gritty thrillers aimed at adults that have hit theaters during this pandemic recovery period, including the $8.3 million opening for “Wrath of Man” last weekend, the $6.8 million opening for “Nobody” back in February, and the $3.1 million earned by “The Marksman” in January with less than 2,000 theaters.
While the low numbers for “Those Who Wish Me Dead” may be attributable to its streaming availability or oversaturation of adult thrillers, Warner Bros. had a series of flops with the genre in the months prior to the pandemic. Films like “Motherless Brooklyn” and “The Goldfinch” bombed at the box office even as the dark DC Comics drama “Joker” became the first R-rated film to gross $1 billion worldwide.
Starring Angelina Jolie and directed by Taylor Sheridan, the film has earned a mildly positive reception with a B on CinemaScore and a 63% critics Rotten Tomatoes score. It also grossed $2.8 million from 33 markets overseas, giving it a global theatrical total of $7.1 million.
Funimation’s “Demon Slayer” and Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” complete the Top 5, grossing $1.7 million each as the anime film reaches a domestic total of $42 million after four weekends and the Disney animated film’s total hits $46 million after 11 weekends.
Outside the Top 5, Zack Snyder’s zombie heist film “Army of the Dead” was released in 430 theaters one week before its debut on Netflix, earning $800,000 according to industry estimates. While Netflix reached a deal with Cinemark to screen the film, expanding its theater count, the release remains limited by ongoing tensions between the streamer and other major theater chains. Critics gave the film a 74% score on Rotten Tomatoes, while the audience score sits at 81%.
The last new release of the weekend is Focus Features’ “Profile,” which made just $670,000 from 2,033 screens. The thriller about a journalist that tries to expose a terrorist recruiter on social media received a 61% Rotten Tomatoes score and a B+ on CinemaScore.