“Jigsaw” is dominating the domestic box office on the pre-Halloween weekend with about $20 million, but Matt Damon’s “Suburbicon” and Miles Teller’s “Thank You for Your Service” are bombing, early estimates showed Friday.
“Jigaw,” the eighth installment in Lionsgate’s “Saw” franchise, is performing in line with expectations, which had ranged from $18 million to $22 million at 2,941 locations this weekend. It’s a different story for the other two new titles as audiences are shunning “Suburbicon” and “Thank You for Your Service” with neither likely to hit even $4 million — both well below modest pre-weekend forecasts in the $6 million range.
Lionsgate’s second weekend of the comedy “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” will be runner-up at about $10 million at 2,388 sites, following its $21.2 million launch last weekend.
“Suburbicon,” directed by George Clooney and starring Damon, earned only $180,000 at 1,614 sites in previews on Thursday night, a minuscule take compared to the $1.6 million for “Jigsaw.”
“Suburbicon,” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, centers on the dark side of a prototypical suburban community in 1959. Paramount acquired U.S. distribution rights last year for $10 million with Black Bear Pictures financing. Critics have not been impressed with “Suburbicon,” earning the film a 28% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Julianne Moore, Noah Jupe, and Oscar Isaac also star in the movie, which carries a $25 million budget.
“Thank You for Your Service,” based on the David Finkel book, follows a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life. It currently holds a 75% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Teller stars along with Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze, and Keisha Castle-Hughes.
Warner’s second frame of “Geostorm” and Universal’s third weekend of “Happy Death Day” will battle for third place at about $5 million each. “Happy Death Day” has grossed $42.8 million domestically in its first 13 days.
“Jigsaw,” named after the deranged killer played by Tobin Bell, is the first “Saw” movie released in seven years. Lionsgate launched the franchise in 2004 with “Saw,” directed by James Wan in his feature film debut, and saw immediate success with worldwide grosses hitting $100 million on a $1.2 million budget. The studio then launched a “Saw” movie annually for six years straight and the films hauled $450 million collectively at the domestic box office, led by 2010’s “Saw 3D.”
“Jigsaw,” which has a budget around $10 million, is directed by brothers Michael and Peter Spierig. Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett, and Hannah Emily Anderson star in a story set a decade after the death of the Jigsaw killer.
ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak scores from Thursday night were impressive with 37% saying the film was “excellent” and another 32% saying it was “very good.” Men outweighed women, 58% to 42%.
October has been a dismal month at the domestic box office with a 15.4% decline to $457.6 million as of Oct. 25, according to comScore. Year-to-date grosses have declined 5.1% to $8.65 billion
The box office will get a shot in the arm on Nov. 1 with STXfilms opening “Bad Moms Christmas” and then a major jolt two days later as “Thor: Ragnarok” opens with expectations for as high as a $125 million weekend. “Thor: Ragnarok” is launching in half of the international market this weekend and has already picked up $28 million in its first three days.
STXfilms is projecting a five-day total between $22 million to $26 million from 3,500 locations across North America.