“Jigsaw” slayed with a solid $1.6 million at more than 2,400 North American sites on Thursday night.
The eighth installment in Lionsgate’s “Saw” franchise is expected to take in an estimated $18 million to $22 million at 2,941 locations this weekend.
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. The openings of Paramount’s dark comedy “Suburbicon” and DreamWorks’ PTSD drama “Thank You for Your Service” are both heading for downbeat launches.
“Suburbicon,” directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon, earned $180,000 at 1,614 sites on Thursday night. It will likely reel in $5 million to $7 million at 2,046 venues. Forecasts place Universal’s “Thank You for Your Service,” starring Miles Teller, in a slightly lower range at 2,054 sites.
Warner’s second frame of “Geostorm” and Universal’s third weekend of “Happy Death Day” will battle “Suburbicon” and “Thank You for Your Service” for third place. “Happy Death Day” has grossed $42.8 million domestically in its first 13 days.
It will be the final weekend of what’s been a depressing month for moviegoing, with October grosses down 15.4% to $439.8 million as of Oct. 23, according to comScore. However, there will be a surge on Nov. 3 to Nov. 5 when Disney-Marvel opens the tentpole “Thor: Ragnarok” amid expectations as high as $125 million. Warner Bros.-DC’s “Justice League” is heading for at least $110 million during the Nov. 17 to Nov. 19 frame.
“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 launched a “Saw” movie annually for six years straight. 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.
“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.
“Thor: Ragnarok” is launching in half of the international market this weekend. The superhero film picked up $12.8 million from about six markets on Tuesday and Wednesday.