November couldn’t come fast enough for movie theaters, as the anemic October box office finally comes to a close with Lionsgate’s “Jigsaw” taking No. 1 with a $16.2 million opening.
This has been a rough month for the movies, with the disappointing $32.7 million opening for “Blade Runner 2049” being the highest return for any release this month. “Jigsaw” will have the lowest opening for a No. 1 film this year and the second-lowest for the “Saw” franchise, beating only the $14.1 million made by “Saw VI” in 2009. Industry estimates show that overall revenue could make this the second-worst weekend of 2017, beating only the closing weekend of August where a lack of new titles gave “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” the top spot with just $10.2 million.
But despite this, Lionsgate will be pleased with this weekend’s results, as their two low-budget Halloween offerings are at the top of the charts this weekend. Along with “Jigsaw,” which had a production budget of $10 million, “Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween” will take second place with $10 million in its second weekend, giving the $20 million Tyler Perry film a ten-day total of $35.5 million. While critics haven’t taken to the seasonal offerings — “Jigsaw” got 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — they have been well received in CinemaScore polls with “Boo! 2” getting an A- and “Jigsaw” getting 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 and outside the top five. Both films were expected to make between $5-7 million in their openings, but “Thank You for Your Service” will come away from just $3.7 million from 2,054 screens while “Suburbicon” will take $2.7 million from 2,046 screens and place ninth for the weekend.
“Thank You For Your Service,” which had a $20 million budget, was well received with 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an A- on CinemaScore, but couldn’t gain any traction in conservative states where films like “American Sniper” and “Hacksaw Ridge” were popular choices. “Suburbicon,” meanwhile, has been savaged by critics since its premiere at Venice, even with George Clooney in the director’s chair, the Coen Brothers on the script, and Matt Damon on the marquee. With a 26 percent RT score and a D- on CinemaScore, it will go down as one of the worst box office performances of both Clooney and Damon’s careers.