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Box Office Breakdown: Saw Franchise Ends with a Win

Saw 3D

The Saw franchise, which has been churning out annual entries since kicking off in 2004, introduced a new twist to the latest October entry. That visual element, plus a calendar shift, helped Saw 3D take first place over the holiday weekend.

Despite the $22.5 million debut, Saw 3D – the seventh and final film in the series – didn’t exactly end the series with a bloody bang. The horror flick had the fifth-best open in the entire franchise—and that's including the higher ticket prices. (Only the 2004 original and 2009’s Saw VI – which was pitted directly against Paranormal Activity – did worse.)

 

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Box Office Breakdown: Paranormal Activity Takes Over Theaters

Paranormal Activity 2

Combine a mysterious baby and a barking dog with a $3 million budget – and what do you get? Horror’s biggest opener to date.

, Paramount’s follow to last year’s surprise hit, scared up a record-breaking $40.7 million over the pre-Halloween weekend. The film not only took first place away from Jackass 3D, it edged past Friday the 13th for the scream title. (That 2009 remake debuted to $40.6 million in February 2009.)

Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood’s , which expanded from a limited release, also made entry into the Top 10. The Matt Damon-starrer settled into fourth place with a $12 million take.

 

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Box Office Breakdown: Jackass Kicks Competition’s Ass

Although the next Saw film isn’t due until October 29, many theatergoers saw pain inflicted in 3D this past weekend.

The premiere of Jackass 3D, a film based on the former MTV series, has already broken franchise and box office records since debuting three days ago. The documentary, which was produced for $19 million, earned a shocking $50.3 million—approximately $21 million more than 2006’s Jackass: Number Two (and $28 million more than 2002’s Jackass: The Movie).

Paramount’s entry also bested previous October openers. Up until recently, Scary Movie 3’s $48.1 million from 2003 had been the figure to beat.

Meanwhile, Red generated what could have been first-place sized numbers on any other weekend. The action film starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren rang up $21.8 million—enough for second place.

 

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Box Office Breakdown: Very Small Take for Wes Craven

My Soul to Take

Neither Wes Craven’s name nor 3-D ticket prices could help Universal this weekend.

, which cost an estimated $25 million to produce, earned a scary $6.8 million over the past three days. (That’s a figure that includes ticket sales from 3-D venues.) The movie, which debuted in sixth place, was just one of several horror-ific disappointments this week. Two-week-old Case 39 fell to ninth place while Let Me In dropped completely out of the Top 10.

Romantic comedy raised $14.5 million, about $1 million shy of first place. (The Social Network was tops for the second time in a row.) Despite heavy promotion, Life was Katherine Heigl’s smallest debut since her pre-Knocked Up days.

, the weekend’s other new wide release, galloped into third place with $12.7 million. Seabiscuit, in comparison, premiered to $20.9 million in 2003.

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In Theaters This Weekend: October 8, 2010


Here are a few selections in theaters this weekend:

  • Life as We Know It (PG-13): starring Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas (directed by Greg Berlanti)
  • My Soul to Take (R): starring Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Emily Meade (directed by Wes Craven)
  • Secretariat (PG): starring Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh (directed by Randall Wallace)

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Box Office Breakdown: Evil Takes Up Residence at Number One

Resident Evil: Afterlife

Who says the third time’s the charm?

—the fourth movie in that sci-fi series—topped the box office this weekend with franchise-breaking numbers. The movie, which was offered in 3D, had the best Evil debut to date. (Yes - higher ticket prices did play into this.) Afterlife‘s $26.7 million take surpassed the bar set by Resident Evil: Extinction in 2007. (That outing opened to $23.7 million.)

Since Resident was the only new wide release, the other notable events occurred outside the Top Ten. , starring Katie Holmes and Josh Duhamel, opened in limited release with a $45,527 debut. More importantly, the movie averaged $22,764 per theater—the best number for all films over the weekend. In comparison, I’m Still Here—featuring a disheveled Joaquin Phoenix—only had a $5,087 per screen average.

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In Theaters This Weekend: September 10, 2010


Here are a few selections in theaters this weekend:

  • Resident Evil: Afterlife (R): starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller (directed by Paul W.S. Anderson)
  • Ahead of Time* (NR): (directed by Robert Richman)
  • Bran Nue Dae* (PG-13): starring Geoffrey Rush, Rocky McKenzie, Ernie Dingo (directed by Rachel Perkins)
  • Expecting Mary* (PG): starring Elliott Gould, Linda Gray, Lainie Kazan (directed by Dan Gordon)
  • Heartbreaker* (NR): starring Romain Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier (directed by Pascal Chaumeil)
  • I’m Still Here* (NR): starring Joaquin Phoenix (directed by Casey Affleck)

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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: June 15, 2010

Book of Eli DVDHere are some of the options available this Tuesday:

  • The Book of Eli: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Darkman: Blu-ray
  • Flash Gordon: Blu-ray
  • Happy Tears: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Mary and Max: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Mystery Train: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Showgirls (15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition): Blu-ray
  • The Stepfather: Blu-ray
  • Unthinkable: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Youth in Revolt: DVD, Blu-ray
  • When in Rome: DVD, Blu-ray

Make sure to also check out the DVD and Blu-ray film options for this week.

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Box Office Breakdown: Valentine’s Day Has Rosy Four-Day Weekend

Valentine's Day

Despite receiving less than enthusiastic reviews, Valentine’s Day remained the point of attraction for many romance-minded ticket buyers this weekend. Garry Marshall’s romantic comedy wooed audiences over the holiday period while simultaneously breaking records in the process.

Warner Bros.’ ensemble cast combined their efforts to pull in $63.1 million over the past four days ($56.2 million for just the first three). The feature became the highest-grossing film during any President’s or Valentine’s Day frame while also topping the studio’s list of four-day debuts.

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Box Office Breakdown: Dear John Brings Down Avatar

Amanda Seyfried in Dear John

Dear John—And they didn’t think we could do it. Take that, blue people! XOXO, Savannah

After an exhausting seven weeks at #1, found itself in entirely new territory: sitting back at #2. Although the film had broken nearly every record in the history books (and padded another $22.9 million to its domestic total), the 20th Century Fox feature ended its win streak nine weeks shy of E.T.‘s mark.

Taking the lead from James Cameron was the latest weeper from author Nicholas Sparks. - starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried - was the counterprogramming winner during Super Bowl weekend. The romantic drama earned an impressive $30.5 million and came narrowly close to besting the record set during the same sports frame in 2008. (That was when Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour generated $31.1 million.)

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