- Saw 3D box office: Lionsgate’s blood-soaked horror thriller was the no. 1 title on the domestic chart this past Halloween weekend.
Saw 3D box office: Domestic audiences are thirsty for quality & creative franchise gore
Oct. 29–31 (Halloween) weekend box office: In the United States, the Saw movies are to Halloween what The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life are to Christmas. Unsurprisingly, Saw 3D, the latest entry in Lionsgate’s blood-spurting horror franchise, easily topped North America’s (U.S. and Canada only) Halloween box office chart, grossing $22.5 million from 2,808 theaters according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
After adding $1.7 million from Thursday night screenings, Saw 3D’s total reached $24.2 million. Not bad at all for a Z-grade horror flick that is supposed to have cost $20 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses).
In fact, on one single weekend (plus a few hours) Saw 3D earned nearly as much as last year’s Saw VI during its entire domestic run ($27.7 million).
On the downside…
Now for the bad news: Saw 3D’s opening-weekend take fell short of expectations, as some had been predicting a domestic debut north of 30 million. Besides, its initial figure was lower than those of the Saw II–V sequels. (Saw III scored the biggest opening, $33.6 million; Saw IV was next with $31.8 million.)
There’s more: Saw 3D opened far below an entry from another recent franchise (in the making), Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 2, which a week ago brought in $40.7 million in the U.S. and Canada. (Admittedly, Saw 3D did enjoy a far stronger debut than a trio of other recent horror releases that died the box office death: Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take [$6.8 million], Christian Alvart’s Case 39 [$5.4 million], and Matt Reeves’ Let Me In [$5.1 million].)
Lastly, the latest Saw title is expected to take a dive next weekend after losing numerous 3D locations to Dreamworks/Paramount’s animated blockbuster-to-be Megamind.
In the Saw 3D cast: Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Costas Mandylor, Chad Donella, Sebastian Pigott, Gina Holden, and Dean Armstrong. Kevin Greutert directed.
3D likely boosted international grosses
Update: Kevin Greutert’s Saw 3D ultimately collected a passable $45.7 million domestically and, as expected for your average 3D release, a far better $90.4 million internationally. Worldwide total: A highly profitable $136.1 million.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($12.9 million), Germany ($11 million), Italy ($7 million), France ($5.6 million), Russia/CIS ($5.4 million), Spain ($5.1 million), Brazil ($4.3 million), and Japan ($4.1 million).
Rounding out Halloween’s Top Five movies
For the record, the four movies trailing Saw 3D on this past Halloween weekend’s box office chart were the following:
- At no. 2, Tod Williams’ horror thriller Paranormal Activity 2 grossed $16.5 million (down a whopping 59 percent on its second weekend). Cume: $65.7 million. Cast: Sprague Grayden and Brian Boland.
- At no. 3, Robert Schwentke’s humorous actioner RED grossed $10.7 million (down a relatively modest 29 percent on its third weekend). Cume: $58.8 million. Cast: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman.
- At no. 4, Jeff Tremaine’s idiocy fest Jackass 3D grossed $8.5 million (down a whopping 60 percent on its third weekend). Cume: $101.7 million. Cast: Johnny Knoxville.
- At no. 5, Clint Eastwood’s metaphysical drama Hereafter grossed $6.4 million (down a sizable 47 percent on its third weekend). Cume: $22.3 million. Cast: Matt Damon, Cécile de France, and Bryce Dallas Howard.
“Saw 3D Box Office: Audiences Thirsty for ‘Quality’ Gore” notes
Saw 3D is also known as Saw: The Final Chapter.
Unless otherwise noted, “Saw 3D Box Office: Audiences Thirsty for ‘Quality’ Gore” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Saw 3D and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Sebastian Pigott Saw 3D movie image: Lionsgate.
“Saw 3D Box Office: Audiences Thirsty for ‘Quality’ Gore” last updated in October 2023.