October 28, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Jigsaw” Doesn’t Scare, “Thank You For Your Service” & “Suburbicon” Flop


Rebooting an aged horror franchise can be tough.  Recent attempts to bring back Alien, Scream and Friday the 13th have faltered, and now Saw, rechristened as JIGSAW (Lionsgate), isn’t off to much of a start.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline have opening day at $7.5M, much lower than the $10.7M for Saw 3D, the last entry in the franchise (in 2010), although not quite as low as the $7M for 2009’s Saw VI.  The weekend will probably be around $16M, and given the shelf life of a horror movie opening 4 days before Halloween, the US total may not even get to $35M, which again would make it the 2d worst of the franchise, ahead of only Saw VI.  These movies don’t cost much to produce or market, so breakeven is possible, but it’s hardly an encouraging start to any drive to keep the series going.

October continued to be an awful month for films aimed at an adult audience, particularly for Universal and Miles Teller, who have both had back-to-back failures in as many weeks.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (Reliance/DreamWorks/Universal) followed the studio’s The Snowman and Teller’s Only the Brave by earning $1.5M on opening day, and is staring at a $4M weekend, while SUBURBICON (Black Bear/Paramount) managed just $1.2M on Friday and might not get much past $3M.  Neither was particularly expensive, but both will lose every penny that was put into them.

BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN (Lionsgate) slumped 62% on its 2d Friday to $2.8M, much worse than the 51% drop (to $4.6M) of the first Boo.  The weekend will probably total $10M or so, and Boo 2 should reach $55M, on the lower end of Madea movies but still enough for a moderate profit, thanks to Tyler Perry’s thrifty economics.  However, there doesn’t seem to be enough juice for a Boo 3 to make sense.

HAPPY DEATH DAY (Blumhouse/Universal) is doing fine by the standards of low-budget horror, but not in comparison with some of Blumhouse’s recent smash hits.  Its 3rd Friday was down 45% to $1.6M, which should give it a $5M+ weekend and keep it on track for $55-60M in the US, a notch below the $65.2M for The Visit, and nowhere near Split or Get Out.

No one expected GEOSTORM (Skydance/RatPac/Warners) to hold well, and it plunged 66% from last Friday to $1.5M for a $5M weekend and a $35M US total.  It will need to be a blockbuster overseas (meaning in Japan and China) to approach breakeven.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 (Alcon/Sony/Warners) continued its fade, down 41% Friday-to-Friday to $1.2M for a $4M weekend, and heading for a disappointing $90M in the US.

ONLY THE BRAVE (Black Label/Columbia/Sony) held fairly well for a 2d Friday with a 43% drop, but that still put the day at a small $1.2M, on its way to a $4M weekend and $20M in the US.

THE SNOWMAN (Good Universe/Universal) is setting the standard for ugly, down 71% from last Friday to $400K, for a $1.5M weekend and a US total that won’t hit $10M.

ALL I SEE IS YOU (Open Road) had a half-hearted 283-theatre opening and little marketing, and it barely hit the box office map, as the per-theare average for the weekend will be around $600.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."